How to Hire The Right Interns?
A strong internship is a win-win scenario for an organization and the candidate
Every organization is looking for an asset/assets for their organization and some of our best ones are the interns we hire! Know you have hired correctly when you decide to extend a permanent position to your intern and when they decide to accept it too. Let's look at how to do the right hiring in this vertical, to begin with.
Resume and Interview – Considering that internships are temporary positions for students or recent graduates, do not place much weight on the resume as there would be very less information in it. Rather give importance to the cover letter, the efforts they have placed in drafting it. And during the interview, look into the following points:
Have they dressed appropriately?
Did they research the internship opportunity?
Do they have an understanding of the company's vision and mission statements?
Do they make the effort to explain as to how do they fit into the company's culture or how they will add value to the specific department that they are being interviewed for?
Do they have any relevant experience?
How self-driven are they?
Pay as much attention to this interview, as you would do for a full-time/senior position.
Compensation – It's always a good practice to pay a stipend to the interns be it for providing knowledge or for sourcing the future Manager. This shall also define the culture of the company as this lets the interns know that the organization is not looking at getting free work done and that they are also valued. A compensation acts as a huge motivation for considering that it's their very first earning. A small tip – Offer them a compensation the minute you decide to hire them and before they feel the need to ask you for it.
Learning Opportunities – An internship is a huge learning experience, structure the internship program in a way that it gives your intern valuable learning opportunities. Assign them a series of tasks or a particular project to work on; this will give them a direct learning about your industry and also help you understand their skill-set and potential. Move beyond the traditional work profile that was defined till date – filing, making copies, delivering and bringing documents. These are the millennials that we are discussing who is quite ambitious, show them how the work culture in your industry is today – encourage them to ask questions and share ideas too. This shall inspire them to work towards a permanent position eventually adding value to your organization.
Feedback – The interns should be provided with feedback on a regular basis which helps them as well as the organization in identifying their strengths and weaknesses for them to work on it. It also helps the interns in gauging whether they are moving in the right direction or not. Feedback, in this case, should be done both-ways as it's critical to get a fresh perspective on the work practices of the organization also.
Isolating Interns – Mandatory rule – The intern needs to sit in the same place as his/her reporting boss and the team. Next, make sure they are a part of all your important meetings, town halls and also lunch gatherings. To expand their horizons, expose them to the different verticals of the company. Ask them to share ideas on various verticals, this shall give an understanding to both of you as to which vertical they fit into the best for future. By no means, isolate them. That's probably the weakest way to train or grow someone.
Stay Connected – Keep in touch with your former interns, these are the ones you were unable to hire in the past due to limited positions but are definitely your next choice as soon as there is an opening. This, in other words, is also known as your talent pool. Connect with them through social media platforms or hold an annual intern reunion, share regular company updates with them for them to stay in the loop. It is always simpler to recruit an old intern as compared to hiring a new one and training him, you already know that your old intern is a good fit for your organization.
A strong internship is a win-win scenario for an organization and the candidate. We as an organization are in a huge favour of giving the generation next a chance to grow, nurture and at the same time develop a talent, not just for the organization but the industry. A final tip – Do not hesitate in hiring an intern. You meet a talented student irrespective of an opening in your organization, go ahead and ask them to come on board. The return on the investment shall be in multiples. Happy (right) hiring!