Unlocking potential: Hiring an Intern for Summer 2024

Have you ever thought about hiring an intern? Internships are more than temporary support positions. They are a low-risk opportunity to test drive potential candidates for full-time positions within your business. Instead of relying solely on resumes, interviews, and referrals, internships enable you to witness the intern’s skills, work ethic, and cultural fit over a period of weeks. And a possible side benefit is the extra help means a less hectic and more productive summer for you!

If you think hiring an intern for the summer of 2024 is a possibility that makes sense for your business, now is the time to start planning and promoting the position so you can secure the best talent before candidates accept other summer job offers. Here’s an overview of the process, from defining the position to selecting the right person for the job.

Identify the position

  1. Identify your needs: Start by defining the specific tasks, projects, or areas of the business where you could benefit from an intern’s support. Consider roles that won’t require a lengthy learning curve.
  2. Outline responsibilities: Create a clear and comprehensive internship position description. Detail the skills and level of expertise the intern would be expected to possess. Specify whether the position is for a specific role or for a general support role.
  3. Decide if the position is in-person, remote, or hybrid.

Determine compensation

  1. Research industry standards: Use online job search sites to research typical intern compensation in your industry to ensure your offer is competitive. 
  2. Consider non-monetary perks: Sometimes, small businesses may not be able to offer high salaries, but they can sweeten the offer with benefits such as flexible working hours, paid holidays, mentorship, skills training, and enhanced work responsibilities.
  3. Modify the compensation based on experience and skills of candidates under consideration.

Qualifications and requirements

  1. Relevant skills: Based on the responsibilities of the role, list necessary skills and the level of competency necessary. 
  2. Education and work experience: Determine if a specific academic major is important for the position and whether you prefer past work or volunteer experience.

Get the word out

  1. Write a description of the internship opportunity.
  2. Tap into your community and talk to parents of college-age students to find possible candidates.
  3. Reach out to the career services offices at nearby educational institutions and ask if they can connect you with eager and qualified students.
  4. Post the internship opportunity on job websites such as LinkedIn’s Student Job Portal. 
  5. Leverage your business’s social media network with a post about the opportunity.

Screening and selection process

  1. Request a cover letter and resume to initially screen qualified candidates. Ask about the candidate’s grade point average if it is not listed.
  2. Conduct interviews to assess a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and cultural fit. 
  3. If appropriate, conduct screening tests to evaluate specific skills, such as working with spreadsheets or creating PowerPoint presentations.
  4. Follow up on at least two provided references. 
  5. Confirm the candidate’s availability for the length of the internship period.

Onboarding and mentorship

  1. Start the onboarding process as soon as the candidate accepts the offer by providing company information, start date and working hours, and holidays.
  2. If you will not serve as mentor, designate another employee to mentor the intern, and schedule weekly check-ins.
  3. Plan projects with set goals and deliverables to measure the intern’s effectiveness in the role.
  4. Plan lunch for the intern’s first day.
  5. Towards the conclusion of the internship, decide if you want to offer the intern a position for either the following summer if they have a couple years before graduation, or a full-time position if they will be graduating after the upcoming school year.
  6. If appropriate, offer to provide referrals for future opportunities and write an endorsement on LinkedIn.

If you would like to learn more about how this might apply to your business, let’s talk:

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