How to get the most out of your interns
Interns can be a great addition to a business, but sometimes it’s hard to know how best to use them for their and your benefit. Read on for more information on how to get the most out of your interns.
Interns are often seen as being a cheap way of filling in gaps in the workforce, but they can be a great addition to a business if managed properly.
Learn how to make an internship the best experience for your interns, as well as a great opportunity for your business to grow, with these tips.
Don’t limit interns to coffee runs
The stereotype of interns is that they’re best for coffee runs and filing. While this might be a useful stopgap for some companies, it’s not fulfilling for interns to come into work and feel like that’s all they are good for. To ensure that your interns and your business benefit from the internship experience, it’s best to give them something more useful to do. Try to plan tasks for them before they arrive to maximise their time with the business.
Use interns’ skills
Though interns are with your company to learn, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have skills or abilities outside of their internship role that can be used for business development. For example, younger interns might have a good understanding of social media and new digital technology that could be handy for a less technically savvy business.
Involve interns in the business
When your interns join, it’s a good idea to give them an overview of the company with an induction. Take them on a tour of the business, explain how you operate and familiarise them with company policy. It’s a good way of getting to know them better too. Involving your interns in your company ethos and goals might not seem worthwhile, given that they’re only with you for a short time, but having a fresh set of eyes can be really helpful for offering new perspectives on how you do things.
Invest in training and take them on if they’re good
Although training can seem like a waste of valuable company time, an eager intern who is ready to learn exactly how the company does its business can be a real asset. Taking time to mould them into the perfect employee is worth it if they have genuinely useful skills. If you have a really stellar intern, it’s worth considering adding them to the business on a full-time basis. Internships can be an excellent trial period for an employee.
Use interns’ contacts to further your business
If you’re happy with the work that your intern has done, it’s in your best interests to use their contact network to attract more business – and more interns. Even if they’re not staying for very long, they can recommend your business and its welcoming atmosphere to their friends and contacts. Use the opportunity to enhance your company’s reputation while you can.