“You don’t build a business. You build the people and then people build the business.”
Hiring great talent for your organisation is probably the topmost priority of every HR manager. But sometimes great talent does not come bundled in a package of great projects completed, teams led or an envious work experience which can be boasted of.
Sometimes you have to let people in at the seedling stage and help them turn into fully seasoned employees, while also keeping in mind your organisational goals. Hiring an intern is probably one of the best decisions that you ever take because of the many benefits associated with it.
An internship programme for your company will help you identify raw talent and test whether an individual is a good fit or not. Interns who are not just deemed as coffee-runners or paperwork jockeys of the office, but those who actually add value through genuine work, may help you retain some of them for a full-time job.
Studies have shown that close to 70% of the interns hired by the businesses were offered a full-time position on completion of internship!
Let’s closely look into how an internship programme can benefit your company in more ways than one and how to design a successful internship programme at that!
How To Make The Most Of Your Internship Programme!
Here are some of the ways an internship programme can be beneficial for your company!
1. Fresh Perspective:
Interns come as a breath of fresh air. One of the strongest attributes of an intern is that they come to work with a completely fresh mind and non-traditional set of ideas. They can look at a problem with an unexplored perspective and help bring a sense of newness to the table.
Combining raw ideas of interns with the wise experiences of your long-term employees can prove to be a killer practice for your organisation!
The Y-Generation is super tech-savvy and knows their way around social media better than anyone else. You can take the opportunity to explain your social strategy to your interns and get their feedback.
It provides young people with the opportunity to incorporate what they have taught themselves about social media into the real world and their internship.
3. Extra Set Of Hands:
An interested candidate takes on an internship in hopes of accomplishing something to use on their resume or in future interviews. For an organisation, an intern comes with an extra set of hands that can often help accomplish goals or finish projects.
As long as the project will indeed help a young person learn a new skill, learn more about the industry, and give them a great learning experience overall, interns can work with other employees in the office on specific projects.
Recruiting interns from various colleges in your area allows you to build worthwhile networks and partnerships with local colleges and universities.
This not only puts you in a position to rope in the best local talents but also makes you central to various network opportunities among local educational institutes, strengthening local economic development initiatives.
5. Brand Recognition:
It’s a fact that top talents flock to well-known brands.
Offering a well-structured internship programme with hands-on training, real experience and mentoring opportunities can increase your brand awareness and recognition among jobseekers significantly.
Ways To Create A Successful Internship Programme For Your Organisation!
Here are some ways to groom your interns to become potential employees!
1. Hold An Orientation:
Having an orientation about the internship programme brings everyone on the same page. A combined or separate session for the managers, mentors and interns will help you align the goals of everyone involved in the internship programme to the goals of the organisation.
Orientations ensure that everyone starts with the same expectations and role definitions. This is time well spent, the effort you put into these sessions will pay off throughout the programme.
2. Establish An Intern Programme Coordinator:
Internship coordinators can build a programme that ensures your interns are having a collective learning experience. This is a very important step as coordinators can push candidates to put their best foot forward and ensure they are getting the most out of their internship.
You do not have to employ co-ordinators separately for this role. In fact, just pick out two full-time employees who would be interested to take up the role of a mentor to the interns, making sure their responsibilities do not hamper their full-time obligations.
3. Have A Buddy System:
Most companies have a buddy system in place, wherein a colleague is assigned to a new entrant who will be the go-to person for any sorts of queries or dilemma in a new environment. Why not have a buddy for each of your interns too?
It’s a great way to make them feel relaxed and open up about their internship experience with you. Most of the interns will be facing a corporate atmosphere for the first time and can have numerous questions about how things work. They may be able to share their concerns or voice their opinions better with a buddy rather than their superior managers.
4. Set Goals And Workloads:
Interns can feel directionless if their achievements and progress are not tracked well.
Have a set of goals to be achieved and revisit their momentum from time to time. The key is to make sure there is a defined beginning, middle and end of the internship programme. There is nothing more motivating for an intern to watch the project he initiated see the day of the light and help your organisation. Give your interns the gift of feeling valuable by simply having goals and ways to track them.
5. Intern Development:
It is one thing to flag off an internship programme, but another thing to make it a success day in and day out!
You have to realise that an intern is going to stay with you for the next couple of months or so and it is going to be a win-win situation for both the parties only when there are equal benefits and valuable takeaways for both.
Have a structure that helps you stay in touch with the interns along with a proper feedback channel.
Have managers meetup to discuss what each intern is working on currently and develop lists for the coming weeks.
One key factor to ensure a successful programme is to keep the communication mode always on as far as interns are concerned.
Interns are not your full-time employees and may not always be forthcoming or straightforward with their concerns or feedback. Let them know that they can speak up about any issues that bother them or any ideas that they feel are great but remain unmasked because of lack of confidence on their part. Ensuring this will help your interns stay in the loop and not drift away from their responsibilities.
Internship programmes have to be tailored to the specific needs of your organisation such that it benefits everybody. By developing bright young minds and fostering talent in your interns, your company can retain great people and be the starting point of great careers!