An internship program can bring huge benefits to businesses in the technical fields. They help increase productivity, provide a sense of “giving back” that boosts morale, and allow businesses to develop relationships with promising students or recent graduates that can improve recruitment.
Although starting an internship program can seem daunting, it’s no more difficult than launching any other program. Here’s where to start:
- Do your research – inside and out. Start by learning the basics: What is an internship? Who typically fills internships in your industry – and what do you need to know about hiring them? Then, take a look at your own organization. Consider how many interns your organization can support, what types of meaningful work you can offer, the best time of year to host interns, where in the physical space they will work, and how you will compensate interns.
- Get comfortable with the legal framework. The Department of Labor has begun scrutinizing internships more closely, especially when they are unpaid. Your state may also have requirements regarding minimum wages, workers’ compensation, safety and harassment policies, and other responsibilities. As a result, it’s best to discuss your plans for an internship program with your company’s legal counsel before you begin the process.
- Sell the program. Without company-wide buy-in to the program, interns will struggle unnecessarily, and may decide to leave your industry altogether – taking their talent elsewhere. A presentation explaining how the internship program will help your company is a great way to get everyone on board.
- Design the program. Create a comprehensive structure for the internship program. This will make it easier to implement and evaluate, and will serve as a key marketing tool. Consider: What are the main learning objectives? What are the interns’ daily responsibilities? How do the daily “to-dos” contribute to the learning objectives? Don’t forget to plan the “where, when and how” of the internship: What interns will work on, to whom they will report, how they will be evaluated, and the policies and expectations that apply.
- Recruit interns using a process similar to recruiting regular candidates: post the position, evaluate candidates, and hold interviews. Your recruiter can help you find great talent as well as will play a vital role keeping these individuals engaged after an internship program is finished should you like to fire them full time at a later date.
At Burnett’s Staffing, our recruiters build personal relationships with each client, so we can help you find the talent with the skills and the cultural “fit” to maximize productivity and take your business to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about our recruiting services in Arlington, TX and beyond.