It’s not easy to find the right person for an internship. You know you want someone with experience, but not so much experience that they decide to leave you after only a few weeks! Even with a well-qualified candidate, internships often last only a semester. You can find yourself back at square one with a brand-new intern all too often.
Another consideration is the cost. It is much more affordable to invest in an intern than a full-time employee, but it can still be costly. The mentor may need to bring the intern up to speed on specific procedures and systems already in place for your business or organization; it means there will be some trial by fire when they start working together. These situations can involve some loss of time and productivity while your intern gets into the swing of things.
Keep reading for three great tips (and maybe a few more) for you when hiring an intern for your small business:
What Are Some Best Practices For Me To Use When Hiring An Intern for My Small Business?
If you could use an established system to find, hire, train, and manage your interns, it would severely cut down on the time and money investment, allowing you to reap the most significant rewards out of working with an intern. You may find yourself with some bandwidth to enjoy the experience!
Here are a few things you can do to make hiring an intern a seamless experience:
- Develop a pipeline of applicants. You have to know where to look. I know it seems easy to hire your neighbor’s nephew, but they may not be a good fit. “Looking for an internship” shouldn’t be your only qualification for bringing someone on. Local universities and online job boards are full of people looking for internships. Going to a more comprehensive source allows you to find someone that fits the learning opportunities you have, rather than just signing up for grunt work. Try to have everything spelled out, just like a standard job description, so that you can attract the right fit from the beginning.
- Create a training system. Stop starting from scratch every time you hire an intern or any employee, for that matter. Invest at the beginning with strategies you can use over and over again. This can include creating a repeatable hiring plan, templates and videos for training, and a reference guide with examples of how you want things done. There is no need to spend extra time making things up; just record, copy, save, and narrate what you are already working on. This practice provides real-life context for the task and allows them to see your work through the process. Save it all in one place with clear labels/organization, and you are set!
- Clear is kind – communicate early and often. Quick tip – most interns have little to no experience in a work environment. They are there to learn. If you throw a task at them and leave them on their own for hours, days, or even weeks without input, you probably will not get a perfect work product. You may even lose your intern. Set up a communication plan at the very start of their placement. Schedule all the meetings, check-in calls, and project deadlines upfront if possible, so there isn’t any confusion. It will give them access to you for updates and questions. Be clear and direct while keeping patience in mind as they learn. Speaking of which…
What Are A Few More Great Pointers For You To Use When Hiring an Intern?
In addition to our three top tips above, we have a few more things for you to consider:
- Respect their time and effort. Interns are often taking on an internship as part of their education. They may have other commitments, like classes or a job. Respect the hours they put in and the days they are available to work. If you set this up at the start of their placement, you can build their workload around it.
- Fair wages. Maistro HIGHLY recommends paying your intern a fair wage for their time. Even if they apply for class credit, they sacrifice their limited time to work for you. They will be more affordable than experienced help and more engaged, dedicated, and motivated when fairly compensated.
In conclusion, creating and working a system will save you time, money, and frustration when hiring an intern. It will be a much more fulfilling experience and help boost your business forward with affordable, qualified help.
Here at Maistro Mentor, we develop empowered individuals. We bridge the gap between growth-minded business owners and fresh young talent.
Check out our Maistro Host options for more details on using our proven system to work with a custom-matched intern!