This is a thought leadership article by North American PrimeGlobal member firm Lutz which discusses the major benefits and potential drawbacks that organizations consider when hiring interns.
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Many businesses utilize internship programs to increase the team roster at little or no cost. In some situations, interns provide businesses with an array of benefits and perspectives as well.
Essentially, internship programs are usually a win-win for both the student and the employer. However, they may not work for every business. If you’re on the fence about engaging interns, consider the benefits your organization will receive and the challenges that come with them.
1. ENERGY & PERSPECTIVE
One of the fascinating benefits that an intern can bring to an organization is their passion. Most interns will do everything in their power to earn themselves a permanent job at the end of the training. An intern has a wide range of transferable skills that a company can put into good use.
Additionally, if you opt to engage them on a full-time basis, they will continue with the same zeal and energy. This is a trait you’ll want to retain on your team. Engaging an energetic intern can be a great way to increase productivity in your business.
2. HIGH WORK ETHIC & INTELLECTUAL HORSEPOWER AT A LOW COST
Interns can offer the most cost-effective to add manpower to your business. Although not always recommended, internship programs can be unpaid, giving the company the advantage of free labor.
Some formalities are attached to unpaid internships. For instance, the internship environment should be geared towards providing a complete educational experience and training.
For paid internships, businesses usually pay a stipend or an hourly wage plus overtime. Additionally, paid interns are likely to become better candidates and reliable employees. One of the company’s biggest benefit is that interns offer low-cost options, bringing incredible talent, and reducing employee workload.
3. OPPORTUNITY FOR PROJECT-BASED WORK
According to the 2015 NACE internship survey, it was established that higher retention and productivity could be realized through internships. Besides offering an extra hand in projects, interns are ready to learn and work, and most of them want to showcase their value to the company. With this energy, interns can develop positive behavior and new ideas to improve the company’s working environment.
4. POOL OF CANDIDATES FOR FULL-TIME POSITIONS
If you invest your time in them, there is a high probability that they will stick around and can hit the ground running with the training they received as an intern. You also have the advantage of seeing their skills and work ethic prior to making a full-time commitment to hiring them.
5. NEW IDEAS
During the initial stages of business development, you may be uncertain of the type of skills needed in your business. This can translate to unnecessary hires, which could affect your business operations and culture. Engaging an intern to occupy new roles helps to validate positions that are necessary to scale. One should not underestimate the strengths of interns! Interns can offer feedback and ideas that can refine your business and evade fatal missteps.
But there are pitfalls to hiring interns too, and it is important to evaluate some drawbacks that your company can face.
1. CAN BE COSTLY
A paid internship program can be costly. On the other hand, unpaid internships affect your company’s time, translating to money in the long run. Therefore, when engaging an intern, ensure you get the best use of your money but having a solid plan in place for the program. Be sure to evaluate the value add after each program and make changes for the next group of interns.
2. REQUIRES A LOT OF TRAINING
Although the business benefits from the work brought by the intern, you also spend a lot of time providing guidance, knowledge, and training. To solve this issue, it’s a good idea to ensure that the intern does not derail a specific team member’s operations or project timeline.
If you feel that an internship program will be ideal for your business, work closely with your HR department to establish whether every nook and cranny of your company can support the program. Get your organization ahead of others by adopting an internship program.
Since our founding in 1980, Lutz has steadily grown because of our integrity, work ethic and collaboration to become the largest locally owned firm of its kind in Nebraska. Our clients' goals are our goals and we believe that understanding our clients is a vital part of getting to the bottom line and ensuring their success. We provide accounting services such as tax, assurance, business consulting and valuation. We also support our clients in the areas of investments and planning, recruiting and technology services.Learn more