Most university students are constantly on the lookout for work experience in a work industry of their choice. It gives them a fantastic insight into office life, the do’s and don’t of the dream job role and the skills and qualities they will need to succeed in their chosen industry. Some business leaders find it difficult to find the right balance between providing the intern with valuable experience and making the most of them in the workplace. There are aspects of taking on an intern that must be thought about before and after the process. Here are some tips to help you make the most of hiring an intern.
Although the internship process is usually a temporary process, this doesn’t mean that they can’t positively impact your company. Hiring a motivated intern will be a breath of fresh air for your workforce and most will bring new ideas and perspectives to projects. When interviewing a potential intern, ask yourself questions such as ‘will this person fit in with my team?’ Will they be confident working with a team of experienced workers?’ These types of questions are just as important as the university they go to or what grades they got in school.
Be prepared before the process starts, assign them a company mentor who will guide them through tasks and projects. Aim to delegate a substantial amount of work to the intern, if they don’t have enough work, they will become unmotivated and will soon be more of a hindrance than a help.
Make the intern feel as though they are being helpful, this means giving them more to do than coffee runs. Allow them to speak up and sit in meetings to get the full experience, invite them to work lunches and after work drinks. Giving them a chance to prove themselves will enable you to assess whether they could be a good fit for becoming a permanent part of the team in the future.
Once the internship has ended, ask the intern to fill out a feedback form and review their experience with the company. Have a meeting with the intern’s mentor and gauge their thoughts on how beneficial the internship was for both sides and what progress the intern has made. In the feedback form make sure to ask them what they liked, what could have been done better and their thoughts on your company’s culture. This helps you be aware of any changes that need to be made for next year’s internship.