By Ted Saul, Senior Staff Writer
Have you been looking for an affordable way to fill a short-term gap in your staffing? Creating an internship position may be a good strategy to consider. This method of staffing is growing in popularity across the country. A quick look at internships.com shows that at the time of this writing there are “88,882 internships positions from 60,325 companies located in 7,463 cities across all 50 states”. An internship provides many benefits for the employer. First, you are able to train from the ground up. And since they learn your company’s way of doing things, they may make a good candidate for a future full-time position. Interns are typically completing a college degree program allowing for flexibility in scheduling. Planning ahead will allow them to be available when needed most. The right person may also bring in new ideas to business problems and challenges that you are facing. College classes may provide current solutions not found without doing your own study. Additionally they may already have the latest technology skills and can help introduce their use into your business. Lastly, you have the option of making it a paid position or not. This will depend on the type of job, length of expected service and the value of the internship experience.
There are benefits for the intern as well. Experience will be obtained in the industry where they would like to work. An internship can be the “foot in the door” at a company where they want to build a career. Their school schedule can be accommodated and under the right circumstances earn them a salary that eventually works into a full-time job.
If you choose to develop this type of program, remember these tips for working with interns. First treat them as a valued employee. Whether they are paid a salary or not they should still be contributing to the success of the company and be recognized for their work. Keep in mind that the intern is part of your strategy to grow your company not just a person filling a gap temporarily. Finally delegate responsibility to them as they earn your trust and allow them to grow and career path.
Where do you find interns? First check with the local high school and colleges to see if your business fits into one of their career pathways. They will gladly work with you and send you the best of the best to interview. The Chamber of Commerce may be able to help as well. Lastly websites such as internships.com can provide advertising of your need and publicize it to a large audience.
As you interview prospective interns remember to look for one who is trustworthy, self-motivated and has a strong desire to work in your industry. Finding these attributes will help for a positive experience for both you and your employee.
Ted Saul is a business coach that assists with Business Plans and Project Management. He holds a master certificate in project management and has earned his MBA from Regis University. Ted can be reached on LinkedIn, TedS787 on Twitter or emailing Ted@tsaul.com.