The Do’s and Don’ts of Building a Successful Internship Program

Hiring interns seems more appealing to the interns, but not to the business. However, companies can benefit immensely if they have a well-structured program for getting enthusiastic interns onto their teams. A lot goes into creating such a robust program, and presented here are some of the things you should do and avoid if you want to have a productive and successful internship program.

No unpaid internship

It is a mistake most businesses do by offering an unpaid internship, claiming that they are helping the interns. This is not true, and what it does is that it sends the wrong message to the current employees, your customers, and potential candidates, that there are specific jobs you consider less meaningful, and for which compensation is not required. Additionally, interns may lack the motivation to bring out their creativity while at work.

Offer five to six-month internships

In as much as you may desire to have interns for additional hands for specific seasonal projects, it is also essential to consider their onboarding period. They need time to train and adjust to the new workplace before they reveal their full potential. This is not possible with a two-month internship.

Don’t go for shortcuts when recruiting

You need to have competent interns, and this is possible only when they follow the channels used by the other employees, minus the experience bit of it. Don’t just pick interns randomly or go soft during the selection process as this may prove to be costly regarding time and resources in the near future.

Acclimatize the interns to your company

There is a lot of conceptual work in the classroom, and a bulk of it may not be applicable in the workplace. Due to this, let the interns take part regularly in company events, and also learn the company culture so that they have a good understanding of how things work. Dedicate some time to offer them the guidance and the resources they need.

Don’t ask for too much or too little

Have a balanced workload for the interns. If you give them a lot of work, they will get stressed and may end up making various mistakes. If you give them too little, they may find the experience frustrating, and may not benefit a lot. If they finish their tasks early, allow them to shadow the rest of the employees and learn a thing or two before they leave for the day.