Want to hire an intern this summer? Here’s what you should know.
Everyone knows employees are the lifeblood of any business, but sometimes employees need a little help to get started off right. Bringing on interns is a great way for small and medium-sized businesses to infuse new employees into their workforce and promote from within. Not only does this provide employees with on-the-job training, providing employees an inside look at how their field is run, but it’s also a great way to reduce costs.
Many interns are looking for summer jobs in order to gain valuable work experience in a new environment. If you need employees, especially students in the local community, one solution is to hire interns this summer. But there are several things you should be aware of when hiring a summer intern that will help ensure success over the course of
Employers see interns as unpaid employees that are more than happy to work long hours for free, but employers who get the most out of their employees work to establish a fruitful relationship early on. That means employees need to take interns seriously. Start by offering employees the same benefits as you would offer anyone else, including fair compensation and a clear outline of what employees can expect from their internships.
Employers should also make sure interns understand that they are not employees before bringing them on board, and employees should also note that interns are not employees. This can include a clear outline of what interns will work on during their summer employment, as well as any goals employees should strive for while working with your company. Good interns who understand exactly what you expect from them are more likely to want to come back after graduation and become very productive full-time employees.
Are all internships unpaid?
Not necessarily. This summer, consider hiring interns to help your employees with clerical and administrative tasks that don’t require employees to work for free for full-time employees. This can be a mutually beneficial arrangement: employees who receive help from interns will appreciate the extra assistance with their workload and it’s also good practice for employees to manage someone else.
Internships as a recruiting tool
Internships are also a powerful tool for recruiting employees. Many interns who are looking for significant educational benefits before graduating, are wanting to stand out against other candidates in the hiring pool.
This year’s interns are tomorrow’s employees – are you ready?
If you want to hire interns this summer, take the time to prepare them for what working in the real world looks like. These interns could become tomorrow’s employees, so it’s important that you provide interns with information about your company culture and resources to succeed. If interns are happy with their experience at your business, you have first pick at hiring them after graduation.
Is a paid intern considered an employee or contractor?
Paid interns are considered employees – that means interns receive benefits, interns get paid for their full time of work and, interns are expected to follow company policies. Contractors are considered self-employed and do not receive benefits from their clients and employees do not work with a team.
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has specific rules governing internship programs. The DOL has very specific employment laws in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for private-sector internships in for-profit organizations. In general, an internship must be considered a paid job and the employer is should to pay at least minimum wage and follow overtime rules. It’s also important to note that if an employer wants to follow an unpaid internship, they should align closely with a school’s academic calendar, whereas paid internships provide greater scheduling flexibility.
Under DOL legal requirements, an unpaid intern would need to receive some type of significant remuneration such as insurance, pension benefits, workers’ compensation, etc. “Minimal compensation, beneficial learning, or receipt of academic credit may not be considered ‘significant remuneration,’. If the internship will be unpaid, make certain the potential intern understands there should be no expectation of compensation, and they sign off on that expectation that there is no promise of compensation.
Tips for hiring an intern
Hiring interns is a big commitment for a business and employers should take interns seriously. That means employers should establish clear expectations of what interns can expect from their internships, just as if they were working with any other employee.
A well-designed and executed summer internship program allows college students to explore potential careers and valuable job experience. When a company hires interns, they create a robust talent pipeline while boosting its reputation with other students.
- Focus on job fairs at campuses that excel in the type of job you are hiring for. An employer shouldn’t expect to just have a generic advertisement that they are looking for interns at many campuses and expect to get the best candidates. Focus on a few and make a big impact.
- Consider matching interns with more experienced team members as mentors
- Don’t forget to post the opening on your company’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.
- The internship should provide training to what a student would experience in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided.
- Ensure the intern understands they are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.