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Many large corporations will hire interns this summer, and there’s nothing holding your small business back from doing the same. Internships provide career-minded students with valuable experience — but they can also benefit your small business in a variety of ways.
Here are a few of the most compelling potential payoffs of hiring interns for a small business.
Small organizations tend to shy away from using interns. Often that’s because small-business owners believe they don’t have the time or resources to accommodate an intern, or they fear the student will take too long to train or won’t produce quality work. In reality, even small companies with limited resources can hire interns and use them effectively. What’s more, many students who show interest in internships are often fast learners who are willing to go the extra mile to succeed.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to employ a summer intern, take a look at these four great reasons for doing so. Then decide for yourself if hiring an intern is the right move for your small business.
1. Interns offer fresh perspectives.
Interns aren’t shortsighted by a “this is the way it has always been done” mentality. Their unbiased viewpoint may help you discover a more efficient or effective way of doing things. Make the most out of your intern’s inquisitive nature by encouraging them to analyze processes and policies — then challenge them to improve those they think fall short.
2. Internships can help you identify future employees.
Working with an intern all summer will give you a good idea of their potential and whether or not they’re the right fit for your company culture. If all goes well, you might want to bring them on as a paid employee after they complete their internship. According to a National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey, if your intern had a positive internship experience, there’s a very good chance they’ll accept your job offer.
3. Interns can work on special projects.
We all have projects we wish we had time for, and an intern can help you get yours off the ground. For example, maybe you’ve been meaning to increase your company’s social media presence. Assign your socially savvy intern the task of reaching out to social media influencers and watch your sales grow. Or, perhaps you want to find a new customer relationship management (CRM) tool but haven’t had time to research your options thoroughly. Hand over the job to a technically proficient intern and ask them to present you with a recommendation.
4. Hiring an intern is affordable.
Paying your intern a competitive wage may help you attract the very best candidates, but in most cases, a lower wage isn’t a deal breaker. In fact, results from a large student survey reveal that 73% of students seeking internships considered opportunities for career advancement highly important, but only 43% said getting paid was. For best results, consider providing your intern with a reasonable salary, and offer them plenty of perks — like inviting them to be your guest at networking events and walking them through goal-setting sessions.
Internship season is heating up — don’t miss out. Make sure you gather some best practices on how to hire an intern for a small business, and then share this article with your colleagues and discuss how adding an intern to your staff might help your business reach its goals.