By Lily M Horn
If you happen to find a magical candidate who has zero work experience, would you consider letting them joining you temporarily through an internship? If your enterprise is one which veers on the side of experience over academics then it is worth a thought. This could be a win-win situation for your company and the new approach will allow for a fresh perspective on your business.
Do you already have an internship program? Do you know the rules about unpaid workers?
You may need specific insurance cover and should have an agreement in place regarding expectations, responsibilities and intentions. Employment Innovations Legal provides useful advice and support with handling these issues, ensuring you have the tools and information to stay compliant.
The anticipations need to be made clear from the beginning and the level of expectation when interviewing should be the same as when interviewing for a regular employee. As with standard recruiting, the communication process here is crucial, how a person is treated whilst at your workplace will develop into a walking-talking advertisement for your company’s ethics. In fact, requesting feedback after the internship is over will help to improve the experience for both parties.
If it goes well, you should consider their potential as a permanent employee at a later date. The benefits of these types of programs and graduate programs can be compared to hiring internally as opposed to externally if you find the right candidate. If the individual has shown the initial initiative and interest in your business, then with the right coaching and guidance, you have the makings of a star employee.
Your internship program should aim to teach the important career-related skills directly linked to your business and your industry. It should also aim to enhance the skill-set of the intern whilst being treated as a training period, not an employment period. Inductions should be held as they would be with a new-recruit but they should gain insight across the board of your company, not only so they understand how it works but so that you can identify where their strengths lie (and where you might place them at a later stage), plus you can assess their skills set and areas of interest.
The ultimate result you are aiming for is a candidate who has acquired new abilities, experiences and industry contacts alongside a business which has a strong potential employee with insider knowledge of the company.
Whilst having someone to make the coffee and do mammoth amounts of photocopying is in some ways appealing, it is certainly not the best way in which to utilise the time, why not consider the skills they have solely because of their age, particularly with regards to technology.
With social media and content marketing being the new way to tackle PR, consider what insights your Gen Y-Z bright spark may have to offer, as the first generation to be raised fully emerged within this technology, their perspective will no doubt be valuable. Aside from this, remember that diversity in your workplace will cultivate innovation; a new perspective should always be welcomed into your business, as should internships as a way to welcome new ideas.
I am Lily Horn and I work with HR consulting and accepted a position with my current employer as HR Consultant I specialized in Employment Relations [http://www.thinkei.com/our-services/compliance-for-protection] and services the needs of businesses in compliance and ethics. My responsibilities within the company are to update current educational and training programs and work together as a team to develop more effective programs.