We’re here to tell you about the perks and benefits of bringing in an intern.

Interns can benefit you and your business in tremendous ways, so if you’ve ever considered hiring an intern but haven’t been sold on the idea, keep reading!

Interns are an incredibly valuable addition to any business. They are little to no cost but provide skills and a fresh perspective that could prove invaluable. By bringing in an intern, especially someone young and foreign to the processes and ways of your company, you could gain an outsiders perspective to the business.

Another perk of a young intern is that they could enhance your social strategy. Sit down with your intern and talk to them about what current social media strategies you have in place, if any. Go through your social media campaigns and ask them questions and listen to their ideas. Young people learnt social media from a personal level and may know features and tools that you haven’t thought about but could be useful for your businesses social media platform.

Interns provide an extra set of hands which could prove especially helpful if you run a small business and find some tasks aren’t getting as much attention. In saying that, don’t hire an intern purely because you need extra help. You should have a clear direction for your intern and an idea of where you want them to be by the time they have completed their internship with you. While the idea of free help is nice, and you should take advantage of that, you should also be mindful of what a fantastic opportunity it is to mentor your intern. Ensure you have time to mentor your intern, perhaps sit down and block out time with them to make sure they are getting briefed on what you expect from them and allow them to ask you questions. You get to guide them and if you provide a good experience, they will go on and tell their friends and family about your business and the workplace environment which results in free advertising for you and maintains a good reputation within the community.

By having a clear direction and plan for your intern and giving them responsibility to complete tasks that go beyond basic administrative duties, you can have a better indication of what kind of worker they are and if it would be worth employing them on a part-time or full-time basis once their internship is complete. Internships are brilliant ways to trial potential employees as you don’t lose money and you’re getting a person who you know wants to be there is willing to dedicate and donate their time to you and your business. While they undertake their internship, you should note what they do that you find valuable to your business, what your business could provide to them if they were a hired employee (e.g. learning experiences), and what their working relationship is like with fellow co-workers and yourself.

As we were saying before, you shouldn’t bring on an intern purely for the free-help. Some internships also come with financial benefits. This is another reason NOT to bring on an intern. The financial incentive may be enticing but if you don’t have a clear program or end goal for your intern, they will spend 4-12 weeks bored and will leave having wasted their time and having not learned anything. This will leave them with a bad impression of you and your business. Even if you don’t have the intent of hiring your intern once they’ve completed their internship, you should aim to have them gain something by the end of it. Be it a reference, a recommendation for another role, or just to have learned and furthered their skills within the internship. It cannot be a one-sided relationship. So, have a think about what you need and what you can offer. If you and your business are ready, bringing on an intern could be one of the best choices you make for your business and could lead to meeting a highly valued potential employee. A great book to read which outlines an internship well for both the intern and host is Etiquette of an Intern by Kate Stagg.

Earn whilst they learn

The governments PATH Internship program is a great way to employ youth. From 1 April 2017, a new voluntary 4 to 12 week Internship Programme commenced as part of the Youth Employment Package.

Job seekers are eligible to participate if they are:

  • 17 to 24 years of age
  • receiving an income support payment
  • registered in either jobactive, Transition to Work or Disability Employment Services, and
  • have been receiving employment services for 6 months or more

Participants will automatically be paid a new $200 fortnightly supplement. This will be in addition to their income support payment and will not be treated as income for social security means testing purposes. Hosts also get paid $1000 to host them throughout the placement with job placement at the end if they are successful.

Do you want more advice on ways to grow and improve your business? Come see us at OnPoint Strategy today or contact us at hello@onpointstrategy.com.au