Engaging interns is a great way to grow your business without having to spend a lot of money – initially. Internships are typically thought of as unpaid positions within a business. However, they are more likely to be nominally paid positions and are an effective way of growing your company. People seeking internship opportunities are typically young, recent graduates with little on-the-job experience who view an internship as a means to gain valuable practical experience, to gain industry knowledge and begin to build their career confidence. Energetic and fresh, a good intern can breathe wonderful new ideas into the company while they learn and grow professionally.
If you’re reading this you may be considering developing an internship program to support your business goals and if that is the case read on to learn about effectively recruiting interns to your business.
Develop an Internship Program
All successful programs within your business require careful planning and planning an internship program is no different.
- Clearly define the need for an internship program
- Clearly define the role of intern
- Clearly define the skillsets and any other requirements that are desired of an intern
Internship Program Coordinator
Once you have put the above to paper you are ready to hire or appoint a current employee or a small team to act as Internship Program Coordinator or if it’s a group effort, Committee. This step is critical and should never be overlooked as a successful program must have a leader at the helm. The coordinator(s) will develop and flesh out the program, act as a primary point of contact, ensuring that the needs of the program and the selected intern are on-track and may even offer training presentations designed to complement and enhance the interns’ experiences and to assist in developing essential workplace skills and habits.
Recruiting interns for positions that offer no financial compensation is an extremely difficult task, even inexperienced yet educated candidates will prefer some kind of financial compensation. Not to mention the fact that it’s just plain good optics! You’d hate for your business to be viewed of as ‘cheap’ because that all too easily equates to ‘not good’. Offering remuneration, however small helps to attract keen candidates – those who recognize that they have some experience to gain but who are competent and driven will appreciate that their efforts are valued.
- Post the internship position on popular job boards
- Utilize websites that are specific to recent graduates such as, TalentEgg
- Partner with colleges and universities and get involved in Campus Recruiting events
- Post on Government sites such as Young Canada Works
- Research industry specific recruiting events, conferences and expos, interested grads will be attending
As with all recruitment efforts you must ensure that the job description and the job expectations are clear. With internship postings you must take the description further showcasing opportunities for learning, for personal and professional development and be specific. When the descriptions are more meaningful, relevant and accurate you will have a much better chance of attracting the potential star performers to your company.
Many interns go on to other positions within the business and when they have been properly supported throughout their internship period they will transition easier and will continue to be motivated and their loyalty will continue to strengthen.