How To Recruit Interns
There are many great ways to find or attract interns to your company. Often, it can be easier than you think to locate high-quality candidates. The process for internship recruiting and hiring interns is similar to the process for finding regular employees.
Create an Internship Program
The first step in intern recruitment is to create an internship program. You will need to research and understand the requirements and legal constraints of intern recruiting in your state. You should also consider appointing an internship coordinator to run the program.
Define the goals of recruiting internships. What do you hope to gain from hiring interns? Additionally, you need to consider what benefit the interns will get from working for your company. Will you pay your interns? If not, what will they get instead from the program?
Another thing to consider is that unpaid interns come with their own rules and regulations. You will need to carefully study the particular circumstances of your state before taking on unpaid interns.
Establish Goals, Timeline, and Success Metrics
There are no legal limitations on how long an internship can be. However, you should consider the ROI of keeping interns around long-term, both for your company and the interns. Timeline matters, and the ideal length of time for an internship is usually around 3-6 months.
Once you’ve established a timeline for your internships, you should establish some measures for success. What do you hope your interns will bring to the company? What do you hope they’ll get out of the program? Create SMART goals and objective measures for your interns.
How To Find the Right Interns for Your Business
When it comes to how to get interns for your business, it’s important to find not just any candidates, but the right ones. You can attract interns to your company through several channels, both traditional and modern. With the invention of social networks and online job boards, attracting talent has become much easier, but you need to know which platforms to use and how.
Online Job Boards
Online job boards are easy ways to advertise your internship program. Some job boards like Way Up and After College specialize in internship programs, and while many require a paid membership to post, many are also free. Be aware that paying for a membership on a job board provides many benefits and may result in a higher quality of candidate.
Other job boards are not specifically tailored to college students and grads but can still be utilized to post internships. Look for job boards that focus on your company’s niche or market sector to narrow down the number of people who might apply.
College Career Pages
Most colleges have web pages dedicated to posting internships and jobs for their students. To submit to these pages, you usually have to go through a college administrator, and you will need to prove that your internship is legal, legitimate, and will be beneficial to students.
Talk to Current Employees
One of the best ways to find targeted college talent is to look to the Alma Maters of your current employees. Find out where your employees went to school, and see if those schools have job boards or internship recruitment programs.
Something to keep in mind when tapping your current employees for intern suggestions is that nepotism in internships is a big no-no. Your internship program should be a professional, integrated part of your hiring pipeline, not a way for the boss’s son to get a free ride.
How To Interview Interns
When it comes to the intern hiring process, it is much the same as interviewing regular employees. The main differences are that your intern candidate is unlikely to have professional job experience (although they might).
Prepare questions similar to what you would ask a regular hiring candidate, but tweak them. Rather than asking an intern about their responsibilities and experience in the industry, ask them about their most recent school project.
You could also ask them about their extracurricular activities. Students who participate in extracurricular activities demonstrate a willingness to go above and beyond their regular responsibilities.
How To Evaluate Interns
When recruiting an intern, keep in mind that they have limited life experience and limited subject knowledge. Focus on their personality traits rather than a specific skill set. Does the intern seem willing and eager to learn? Are they self-motivated? Have they demonstrated an ability to manage others or lead?
Focusing on an intern’s future goals rather than past achievements is a good idea. Students who are passionate about their plans for the future are likely to be more engaged in their work and bring more to the table.
Additionally, you should evaluate whether or not the person is a good culture fit for your company. Regardless of their talent, drive, or experience, an intern may not be a good fit for your workplace. Sometimes, an evaluation period may be necessary to determine whether the intern will be a good fit before taking them on more permanently.
How To Select Interns
Recruiting interns should include a rigorous evaluation of their personality and demeanor and an assessment of their skills and experience. This process is no different from hiring any employee.
One way intern selection differs from regular hiring is that the recruitment process for interships should also include an appraisal of their academic record. Requesting a transcript of the student’s grades from the school should be possible.
Remember that an academic record is only one part of the criteria an intern should be expected to meet. Give your candidate a chance to defend their grades if they are sub-par. Often, grades do not accurately reflect a student’s strengths.
Standardized testing, technological restraints, and disabilities can cause some students to fall behind scholastically. However, these students often excel in other areas and can still be a valuable asset to a company.