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What to Look for When Hiring an Intern - Article

Hiring an intern to assist with your business can be a rewarding experience for both parties.

It gives your organization an opportunity to redistribute some of the workload while the successful intern gains firsthand experience and knowledge in a field he or she is interested in.

While it sounds like a no-fail venture, employing interns may not make sense for every business.

Following are some things to think about when determining if an intern is right for your business and, if so, what to look for in a candidate:

  • Consider hiring an intern only if there is valuable work to be done within your organization or business. Coffee runs and taking the garbage out do not count. Keep in mind that an internship lasts, on average, between three and six months, and an intern will be unable to fulfill the responsibilities of a full-time position.
  • An internship is meant to provide young people new to an industry with education and mentoring. Hire an intern only if you have the time and capability to teach and mentor.
  • When looking for interns, determine what set of skills and applicable education candidates should have and advertise accordingly. Send your wanted listing to pertinent departments at universities. For example, if you’re looking for editorial interns, send an ad to a nearby school’s journalism department.
  • Internships can be unpaid, fully paid, for school credit or for a lump sum honorarium. When deciding upon compensation, consider the following: hours the intern will work at your business; the demands of the job; whether or not his or her current job or school life will be significantly impacted; what amount and level of value you’ll provide as a mentor; and what businesses comparable to yours offer their own interns.

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