Goal Setting

How to Make the Internship Model Work for Your Business

Goal Setting

Even now with businesses beginning to hire again, increasing the number of interns on staff is still a sexy business model because of the low cost and low overhead they bring with them. And while interns may require training that an experienced full-time staffer might not, hiring interns is still very beneficial for businesses (as is hiring a freelancer). Follow these tips to make sure your next intern hire is a great one.

Tip #1: Find an Intern Interested in What You Do

You, as the business owner, are obviously very passionate in what your business does. Make sure the intern you hire is interested in what you do too. If you run a hat store, you want someone with an interest in the fashion industry. Just because another perspective intern has a better resume, they might like sports and not fashion. Choose the intern who will immerse themselves in your business.

Tip #2: Background Education is Important

If you run a marketing or public relations firm, look at interns who are majoring in marketing, public relations, or communications in college. Often, you’ll receive resumes from people with all sorts of education backgrounds and some might be enticing. But someone who has an education in the direct field they are interning in will have an easier and quicker time adjusting to the workload you give them. They’ll also be able to understand your business better.

Tip #3: Set Clear Goals

This is a good tip when managing anyone on your team. Setting clear goals will keep you and your intern focused. Think of setting goals that are time related, results orientated, professional development driven or anything else that fits your business plan. Give them something tangible, like creating a YouTube strategy for your business.

Tip #4: Be Realistic with Your Expectations

Interns bring a lot to the table. They’re often energetic, social media savvy and eager to learn. However, you can’t expect them to be a seasoned professional with years of experience and the knowledge of the business world. With the proper training you can eventually expand an interns responsibilities, but be mindful of choosing the right starting place, as starting slow will ultimately benefit both you and your intern.

Tip #5: Set an End Date

There are several reasons someone would take an internship. Two of the most common are to: 1) Gain experience and 2) Try to get hired full-time by the company they are working for. And even though some companies hire interns after their internship is completed, for a variety of reasons, many do not. Whatever your ultimate intentions may be- set an end date before the internship even starts. This way, it’s clear to both you and your intern that the internship is for a finite period of time. If it continues longer or perhaps becomes full-time, great. But if not, there’s no need to have an awkward conversation when it’s time to part ways.

For more information about internships, visit: http://www.usajobs.gov/studentjobs/

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