Summer is just around the corner, which means it is time to evaluate and hire summer interns for your business. In a down economy, interns can make a whole lot of sense – you can evaluate and groom interns to be permanent full-time employees with little risk (read: low wages or even free, school credit based internships) to your company.
Here are our top tips for hiring and managing summer interns:
1 – Choose wisely. Sure, a summer intern might not cost you much, but at the same time, they could end up costing you a lot. Check out the social media presence of interns to be – you don’t want someone badmouthing your company.
2 – Pay them. Many will argue that there is no such thing as free. If an intern gets paid, chances are they will take the opportunity more seriously. I would argue that “free” interns that are either simply getting work experience or college credit will not put their heart into the position.
3 – Look at the big picture. Summer intern help offers much more than cheap part time summer help. You should consider that you could be earning an employee for years to come.
4 – Be selective. We’ve heard the job fair stories out there – some locations have up to an 8 hour wait just to get in the door. This means that you have the ability to be very selective on who you believe is the best fit for your company.
5 – See what your University Alumni services has to offer. You may not have thought about your alma mater in a long time, but this may be the perfect time to reconnect. Contact your University’s career services department to see their internship programs. Get approved for college credit internships. Participate in their job fairs. The University scene is still a powerful network of opportunities – plus it gives you the chance to pay it forward to those that once helped you.
6 – Own up if things aren’t working out. Not everyone will be a perfect fit. The key is to make sure you are documenting the whole way through and communicating with the University/agency from which you got the intern in the first place.
Here is a great post about summer internships from an intern’s point of view.