Editors Note: This is a guest post written by Javier Temponi – Cofounder of 99Interns. His opinions are his own.
You may have recently seen the film The Internship or perhaps you may have heard from other colleagues about how they have benefited from having a student intern spend some time in their business.
But you have absolutely no idea how to find one that could help you in yours.
Your company may not be large enough to have a formal internship program like the big consultancy firms or financial institutions. And your business may not be well known enough (yet) to have university students knocking on your door directly asking for some work experience.
So how do you find an intern and why can an having an intern really benefit your business?
The trick is to go where interns are.
You could place a normal job ad on a job board, but unfortunately most students are not looking online for an internship.
A better way is to find someone who has access to students who might be looking for internships. The best prospective interns are those that are studying or have just finished studying and who would be keen on gaining some practical experience.
Here are 5 reasons why you could benefit from having an intern spend time in your business:
1. They have the right attitude
Interns are looking for experience in their chosen field. If they’re given a chance to work in your company early on in their career, they will do their best to make a great impression since their experience (and your recommendation) will form a part of their CV. An intern will be extremely grateful for the fact that you have helped introduce them to the professional career they are looking for.
2. No pressure to make a permanent hire
When you hire an intern there is never any obligation to ever bring them in on a full-time basis. Most interns will be happy to help out in different areas of your business. They’re just after the experience. Not a job offer. Of course if they are a great fit, you can always ask them to stay longer and one day they may even become a full-time employee.
3. Every business can use an additional pair of hands
If you know when your business might be experiencing a rapid increase in workload, having an intern can contribute enormously to your team’s output. Even with minimal training, an intern can help to get certain tasks done for a specific period of time without having to add any new full-time or even part-time employees to your business.
You may need help with a specific marketing campaign; a research project you haven’t had time to conduct; running a customer survey; or just catching up on a backlog of administration. An intern can help you out with these or similar such projects.
4. Bringing a fresh pair of eyes
It’s very common for a business owner to get so caught up in the day to day running of the business that they will rarely (if ever) challenge processes. Things have been done in such a way for this long, so why change them? Often an intern can contribute with a fresh perspective and bring new ideas on how to do things from a different point of view.
5. Interns are great with technology
Many small business owners (in particular) are well aware of what they should be doing in their business from a technology or social media perspective. But it’s not always easy to take the leap when they may not be familiar with exactly what’s involved. Interns belong to a generation that has used technology since they were very young. Why not leverage their natural knowledge to help take your business into the digital era?
Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to have had an intern spend a few weeks in your business. What types of tasks did they help you with?
Javier Temponi is one of the cofounders of 99Interns – a startup taking the pain out of hunting for the right intern by bringing the prospects directly to you.