More often than not, small business owners overlook an effective way to add talent to their businesses: hiring interns. Internships are typically viewed as a benefit to young adults. Interns will learn work experience and professional skills by being a part of the business for a short amount of time. But the businesses who hire interns also benefit! Here are a few reasons why hiring an intern can benefit your company!
1. New perspectives on key projects and issues.
Bringing interns into your company to join your full-time staff can shake things up a bit, in a good way! Interns can bring a positive mentality and fresh ideas to older ideas that may need some revision. Most interns will be young and still in college, so they will be full of enthusiasm and new ideas.
2. Help with tasks that full-time staff cannot finish.
Interns who are truly interested in furthering their work experience will be eager to take on small responsibilities for your business. They can add these tasks to their resume and it will show initiative. Give your interns meaningful work that will help alleviate the pressure from your full-time staff and that will help your organization run smoother and accomplish more. Make sure, of course, that you don't violate the The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which states that “the employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded.”
3. Gain brand advocates.
One of the most common questions that college students are asked is "Are you interning anywhere this summer?" By mentioning your business (and presumably describing it and what they will be working on), interns become a free source of brand marketing. If you’re an impressive intern mentor, your interns will probably talk about their experience with peers, friends and family members, which becomes essentially free advertising for your organization.
Hiring interns can benefit both them and your business in various ways. Do not discount internship programs as useless! You might be pleasantly surprised.
What are your experiences with hiring interns? Have you found that they benefit your business or organization? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.