5 Tips for Hiring Interns

Posted by | March 3, 2013 | Tips for Businesses

If you’re planning to hire an Intern, never forget the hiring process and the management should be exactly the same as if you were to hire a full-time employee. Here’s how to make it work!

1. Make a clear Job Description

A clear, well thought-out job description significantly improves the quality of appropriate candidates, and seriously cuts time spent on screening. After describing your company, make sure you define the length of the internship position, working hours, selection criteria, supervisor, training and benefits for the intern.

Don’t forget you’re offering the intern work experience. This should enhance the intern’s career opportunities in your industry. Also remember to provide the intern with a suitable contact from your company who will be available for reference, as this is what the intern is looking for!

2. Conduct Formal Interviews

As with any job vacancy it is better to have a truly suitable candidate and not just the best of whomever has applied. Make time in the selection process to recap on the function of the intern, the tasks that he/she should fulfil, and take stock throughout the process to determine if you’ve moved goals depending on certain candidates. Your choice of questioning can help you gain specific insights can help you make more measured decisions.
Here are some sample questions you could ask:

  • What made you decide to study law/science/business?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What’s your biggest weakness/achievement?
  • Why did you apply for this Internship?
  • What excites you about this Internship?
  • Tell us about an experience where you used your communication/organisational skills?

3. Make an appropriate, signed contractual agreement

As an employer, you want to cover yourself against unlawful practices, and/or protect your company’s intellectual property. You can find several samples online – and Xperience will provide an Internship Contract Agreement soon.

4. Provide Training

Take the time from the beginning to define tasks clearly, demonstrating the reasons why they’re carried out this way, and give examples where possible. Be specific about your company’s guidelines on working time, dress code, music policy, and remember the unwritten do’s and dont’s too!

Check in regularly with him/her especially in the beginning. It is likely that this person has just graduated from university and may have little experience of this particular type of working environment or the organisational structure of your company. A quick chat to clarify goals and procedures, as well as updates on the workload, can prevent miscommunication in future. Explaining the big picture impact of their tasks on the whole company helps give a broader understanding of the value their work has, and can enable them to see how they may advance their career by partaking in a range of functions in the company.

5. Give real Experience

The intern is there to gain experience in as many facets of the industry as possible. Get the intern involved at meetings. Show the Intern your selling techniques, such as participating to networking events, sales call or fairs.

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