How To Hire An Intern For A Small Business

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By miriammetz

Even small and medium-sized organizations are jumping on the bandwagon and hiring an intern. To both parties, an internship is a win-win situation. The intern gets valuable work experience, and you get some extra help around the office. Therefore, a robust internship program and an understanding of hiring an intern for a small business are essential.

Everything you need to know about how to hire an intern for a small business is included in this article.

What Are Internships?

In an internship, a student or recent grad works for a company for a brief period to get practical experience. Interns acquire practical experience and learn how to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom by working under the guidance of a mentor.

If the intern is performing the internship for college credit, you are responsible for developing an organized learning experience that fits the college’s criteria. In other words, you can’t just employ an intern and expect them to do all the job for you.

how to hire an intern for a small business

Reasons To Employ An Intern

When considering whether or not to recruit an intern, it’s normal to have some trepidation about the expense. Of course, every company doesn’t require or want interns, but there are various advantages to having one.

For these reasons, it’s a good idea to bring on an intern.

  • Interns frequently have fresh viewpoints because they are youthful and full of energy. They’ve just finished learning about the most current industry best practices and are eager to put them to the test. As a result, interns can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to your company, leading to new and better solutions.
  • When you have an intern, you’ll have more help around the workplace. If you have a lot of work to do, you may consider hiring an intern to help you with some of it.
  • Recruiting strategy: An intern may be a viable option if you’re soon in the market for full-time personnel. A trial period with an intern allows you to decide whether or not to offer the intern a full-time position.
  • Cheerleaders of the company: You may use your interns to help spread the word about your firm by using them as a source of positive publicity.
  • As a result of having interns, your full-time employees have the opportunity to serve as mentors and leaders. In addition to empowering them, you can assess who has management potential if you plan to promote someone soon.

Consider The Drawbacks First

While hiring an intern might be beneficial for your business, some potential drawbacks to consider.

Here are a few disadvantages to keep in mind:

Added expense: Hiring an intern will raise your costs.

  • Lack of dedication: Because internships are temporary, some interns aren’t dedicated to your organization’s long-term development.
  • Low quality of work: Some interns aren’t taking their responsibilities seriously. They may be too young or inexperienced to handle the rigors of a full-time job.
  • Time-consuming: Creating an internship program takes a lot of time. Your full-time staff will have to spend a lot of time working with your interns once they begin. An overall decrease in productivity may result from this.

How To Hire An Intern

When developing an internship program, consideration must be given to how the intern will be integrated into your firm. A well-thought-out program allows you to strike a balance between the intern’s learning experience and the burden of your present staff. When creating an internship program, keep the following points in mind:

Think About The Long-Term Aims Of An Internship Program Before You Begin

You can begin by putting together a list of the benefits or goals you hope to achieve through an internship. For example, you might use internships as a recruiting tool or position your company as a leader in the sector.

During the busiest times of the year, you may want to consider hiring interns. Additionally, you may want to consider the unique benefits that an intern’s productivity will provide to your company, such as expanding your market reach or enhancing your brand awareness.

Organize Your Internship Schedule In Advance

The next step is to lay out the details of your program and what you hope to accomplish. You should incorporate the following in your internship strategy:

  • For example, a six-month or nine-month internship or summer internship if you want students to benefit.
  • Internship opportunities in several departments, such as in the marketing department.
  • Involvement at a single moment of the total number of interns
  • Duties and projects the intern will be responsible for
  • The procedure for selecting interns includes a background check and policies for teenagers.
  • If you’re offering a paid internship, pay and benefits for interns.

The Ideal Intern Should Be Defined By You

When you know what you’re looking for in an intern, you’ll be able to find and interview the right people. If you’re looking for an intern, you may want to search for more than just industry experience. Consider the following:

  • College Major
  • Communication and teamwork are examples of soft talents.
  • Basic arithmetic and accounting skills for an intern in the accounting field are relevant hard skills.
  • Extensive knowledge of the subject matter
  • Professorial references

Outline A System For Evaluating Interns

You should think about the review method you’ll use to gauge the productivity and performance of interns. In addition, strategies for creating improvement plans, professional development courses, or other techniques to help your interns progress in their careers could be included.

Set Up A Hiring Process That Includes Interviews

Consider the hiring process for interns and how you wish to direct it. Conducting phone screenings to ask interview questions or behavioral interviews similar to those used to hire normal employees are two examples of possible screening methods.

An onboarding procedure for new interns can also be implemented, which serves as an orientation and probationary training. Ensure that the internship jobs you design for your interns are both professional and relevant to your company’s mission.

Create A Training Plan

Especially if they’re completing an unpaid or low-paying internship, interns want to gain value out of work. So provide your interns with a well-rounded education that will prepare them for positions in the future.

An intern’s mentor and hands-on instruction are essential strategies to assist them in acquiring new abilities. However, the intern’s training should be tailored to his or her individual needs, which may differ depending on the employment.

Adhere To The Rules Of The Labor Law About Internships

Finally, be sure that you follow all applicable regulations regarding internships and internship placements. Typically, hiring unpaid interns in a private, for-profit company is prohibited.

Your company may also be exempt from giving paid internships if it falls under regulations. The easiest way to find out what kind of firm you’re working for is to research and find out which category it belongs to.

How To Find A Good Intern

To hire an intern, you need to develop a recruitment strategy. It’s not always easy to find an intern, but these tips can help:

Organize A Partnership With A University

Internships might be gained by establishing a personal connection at a nearby college. For example, the instructors in your field at nearby universities might promote your internships to their students if you approach them and introduce yourself.

Internship opportunities can be advertised on employment boards at most institutions. If you’d like to meet more students, consider setting up a booth at a local college career fair.

Use Of Social Media

Spread the word about your internship program on your social media accounts. There are many ways in which you might involve your existing interns in the process of filming. In addition, internships are a great way to get fresh people interested in your company.

If you know a college student seeking an internship, you may be able to help them out. In addition, your interns will be glad to tell their friends about your training because they already support your company.

Adverts Can Be Posted Online

You can submit an Indeed ad for an internship just as you would for a full-time position. This is an excellent way to find interns willing to move across the country. Job seekers will be able to tell that the opportunity is an internship if keywords are included in the ad.

Be Sure To Set Up A Referral System

Ask your current interns for recommendations once your internship program has gotten off the ground to find new interns. They probably know many other people looking for internships because they are in college or just graduated. Encourage additional recommendations by including a prize, reward, or bonus in your referral program.

Things To Keep In Mind And Avoid

To get the most out of your internship program, there are several things you should keep in mind and some things you should avoid.

The Best Ways To Do

Follow these guidelines when you’re looking to hire an intern:

  • Assign meaningful duties to each member of the team.
  • Put in place a plan that will help interns acquire the skills and techniques they need to succeed in their future employment.
  • To help interns better grasp your company’s brand and its role, provide them with ongoing professional development opportunities.
  • Ensure that interns receive timely and constructive feedback to assist them in gaining meaningful work experience and training on the job.
  • Develop a professional development plan with your interns to help them learn more about your sector and develop new skills.

What To Stay Away From

Things to watch out for a while hiring an intern:

  • This could lead to them becoming overworked and making mistakes if given too many duties or projects.
  • To prevent interns from being overwhelmed and losing track of what they need to do for each task, provide them with a range of professional development opportunities while they are on the job, such as the opportunity to observe different departments.
  • Setting either too high or too low expectations may demotivate and frustrate your interns.


When you’re looking to hire an intern, it’s essential to consider what to do and avoid. By following these guidelines, you can set your interns up for success while ensuring that they gain the skills and experience to excel in their future careers.

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