There are many advantages that come from hiring an intern, and when we take the time to plan this properly, it can result in a very enrichening and mutually beneficial experience. On the one hand, interns have the opportunity to obtain valuable work experience in their field of interest, which is starting to become a pre-requisite for many positions. On the other hand, this represents a cost-effective alternative to finding and hiring new talent, with the chance of reducing turnover rates and screening candidates before hiring them for full-time positions. If you have been thinking about hiring an intern, you should keep these tips in mind.
Design Your Internship Program
The very first step we need to take in designing an internship program for our company since this will allow us to offer an attractive and productive opportunity for our interns. Many companies make the mistake of hiring an intern only to have them waiting for temporary projects and tasks nobody else wants to do. This approach is not productive nor effective. Instead, think of your internship program as an essential part of your hiring process, and take the time to thoroughly plan in and develop it in advance.
Decide How to Compensate Your Interns
When it comes to hiring an intern, the most common issues managers must deal with is deciding how they will compensate the interns they hire. Internship compensations tend to vary, depending on the industry and the skills interns bring. However, it is common to see hourly wages offered to interns when they work in for-profit organizations, and unpaid internships tend to be the norm in non-profit organizations. Regardless, we must always make sure we are meeting all state and federal income tax requirements if we are paying our interns, and if we are not, they should be considered trainees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Take Care of the Legal Issues
There are several legal issues we need to consider we hiring an intern that go beyond compensation and income tax requirements. Therefore, it is important that we get professional advice when going over this process. If we are offering an unpaid internship program, our interns must qualify for a trainee status, which means they can’t replace regular employees, they are not guaranteed a job by the end of the program, they must receive training, and they must get hands-on experience on your industry, to name a few. Also, it is important to cover interns under our workers’ compensation insurance policy in order to protect them in case of an accident.
Work on Your Recruiting Strategies
Last but not least, we should always go over our recruiting process and strategies when hiring an intern, since it will allow us to find the best candidate and offer something mutually beneficial. Even when there might not be many differences between hiring interns and hiring full-time employees we might want to take a slightly different approach. This includes determining the criteria you will follow to select candidates and the kind of requirements you are looking for. Academic performance, written and critical skills, computer proficiency, and even foreign language proficiency might come into play.