Why and how should you invest in your interns?
First things first: modern interning
The concept of working as an intern started a long time ago, but has changed a lot over the years. In modern interning, an intern can work for an organisation for a specific period of time. Depending on the company, the industry and the university, interns can work for several months. This varies from 1 - 12 months, says Capital Placement. Internships are popular amongst graduate and undergraduate students who need to gain research or valuable work experience.
Not only is it a great learning curve for students and graduates, internships also create opportunities to meet new people and to make meaningful connections in the professional world.
But what are the benefits of investing in your interns?
3 benefits of investing in your interns
1. Interns can be a valuable talent pipeline
In this competitive labor market, committing interns to getting coffees and making copies is not the smartest move to make. Nowadays, if you’re wise, you are providing interns with useful experiences in the real working field!
By making an investment in every intern that you hire, you are creating opportunities for your company. Your interns could be your future employees or even industry leaders. Since you are providing a ‘test run’ of what it’s like to work at your company, internships can be a valuable talent pipeline.
56.1% of internships result in full-time jobs. Companies get the opportunity to see interns in action, check for talent fit and assess personal and professional connections to the workplace. When an intern is integrated, contributes to the company and has builded a good relationship with team members, offering a job is almost self-evident.
2. Fresh perspectives
The intern will enlarge the workforce by fulfilling a position within the company. They bring fresh perspectives, and while they are immersed in University, they probably know about the newest ways of working and solving problems. Since they are not involved in the company (yet), their ideas are more objective than subjective, says Forbes.
At the same time, this is about investing too. The better you train your intern, the better he or she can help you with projects during their internship. This means in the beginning you’ll have a little more work, but this results in less workload eventually.
3. From intern to brand ambassador
Providing a good internship experience is a great way to gather excellent word of mouth about your business. When you earn their loyalty during the internship, chances are that students function as the eyes and ears of the HR department from your company. Students love hearing about companies or brands directly from their associates.
So, how do you make this all happen?
This is how you invest in your interns
Create a 'learning by doing' environment
Interns may only be with your company for a fixed period of time, but that doesn’t mean they should be treated as someone ‘passing through’. According to Phos, one of the best investments you can make as a company is to take the time to help them grow.
If you treat your intern the same way as a full-time employee, you create a ‘learning by doing’ environment. The best way to show someone what it’s like to work as a Copywriter (for example), is to let them do what a Copywriter does.
If you combine learning by doing with the right guidance, your intern will feel like they improved their skills and got a true insight and better understanding of what it’s like to work in a certain position. At the same time, the intern learns more compared to if he or she is just provided with simple tasks. This results in interns becoming an integrated, contributing part of the company.
Onboard your interns
A perfect way to give new interns a warm welcome and to familiarize them with the processes and the company, is to give them a formal onboarding experience. By doing this, you clarify the requirements and expectations even before they start. This results in a more efficient and effective time at the company.
Onboarding can make a big difference in this process. As reported by SpiceWorks, a consistent line of communication, during and after the internship, needs to be a top priority during the onboarding process. In this way, you are truly connecting with your intern and he or she will be less likely to lose interest.
Since interns are exploring their wishes and needs work-wise, it is recommended to provide them with varied responsibilities during the internship. Internships are a great way for students to get an idea of what they want or do not want to do in their future career.
If you combine this with providing branded apparel, the intern will feel even more as being part of the team (hello brand awareness!).
Make their well-being a top priority
Working full-time, doing research and managing all of the other aspects of life at the same time, while receiving a lower income, can be pretty stressful. Therefore it is important to invest in the interns well-being.
Choosing career paths is an important life decision. Set goals together and work towards them consistently. But another important aspect is to make sure the intern is having a good time. This means there should be space for a good laugh, fun activities besides work and a good and safe atmosphere.
So, maybe you are already making good progress when it comes to investing in your interns. It could also be that your strategy might need some extra attention. In any case, these are our insights and we hope to have inspired you. Because interns might be the future of your company!
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