Preparing to hire your first intern
Preparing to hire your first intern
For students at university and graduates who are keen to further develop their skills in the workplace, internships are usually the first point of call. Not only can they learn a myriad of things, but often they can put what they have studied into direct practice. Internships also offer great value to employers, as they are great ways to showcase your company, train and evaluate potential hires, and also learn new things, as your intern could teach you a few things too!
Hiring an intern can be a fantastic experience for everyone involved, provided you properly prepare for their arrival. Here are some ways to prepare to hire an intern and ensure that you build out a five-start internship programme.
Know what you need help and assistance with
As obvious as it sounds, there are quite a lot of employers out there who hire an intern to do various different things and don’t set out a clear framework of tasks, based on the help and assistance the company actually needs. Before you hire an intern, ensure that you have this narrowed down.
Consider how both parties can benefit
An internship has to be beneficial for you and the intern you choose to hire. Think about your day-to-day activities and consider where the intern can fit into that. As an example, if you’re business is predominantly client-facing, it may be a good idea to have the intern attend a few meetings with you to shadow the way your company interacts in business relationships or, perhaps you can take some time out to train your intern in software or CRM that you use day-to-day, so that eventually they can update the CRM without your guidance.
Plan the onboarding process
When you’d like to hire an intern, you have to ensure that your business is prepared for one. Make sure all of your colleagues are aware that an intern will be joining the business and shadowing their work, ensure that the intern knows who to report to, their working hours, and that all access has been arranged for them on the day of arrival (key cards, fobs, door codes etc). Having a smooth onboarding process for your intern will make everyone’s lives easier and would give a good first impression.
Assign specific tasks
Before you hire an intern, think about your goals and desired outcomes, compile a list of tasks you’d like to assign them, and try to ensure that these tasks are work-related. Once you have identified these goals and outcomes, create a step-by-step approach to help them reach their goals.
Integrate your intern as much as possible
Try not to make your intern feel isolated or separate from the business when they arrive. Be sure to invite them to meetings, company events, and other activities, so they can get a good idea of your workplace culture and what makes your business great. Having your intern participate in these activities could also be helpful in deciding whether or not you offer them a job afterward. The more they integrate and get a feel for your workplace culture, the better they can perform in their roles.
Create a balanced workload
Striking a good workload balance is very important when you hire an intern. You don’t want your intern twiddling their thumbs because they don’t have anything to do, and you don’t want to assign them too many tasks/tasks that are too difficult as it can overwhelm them and they could make significant mistakes.
If the intern finishes tasks too early, ensure that there is something else that they could be doing – perhaps shadowing a member of staff working on a big project or even doing some research or administrative activities that can make your workload a bit lighter.
Feedback is paramount for interns, as most interns would love good feedback in order to be invited to work full-time in the future. Be sure to provide regular feedback as the internship progresses to give them numerous chances to improve and learn new things. Before the end of the internship programme, try and schedule a meeting to discuss their progress, strengths, weaknesses, and career goals.
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