Before determining that you need an intern you should start with a plan. Outline what role the intern will fill and how it will work to benefit both the company and the intern.

Why? You need to answer the question of why you’re looking for an intern instead of an employee. Is an intern right for the job? What are you looking to accomplish?

 

Determining the ‘why’ will help you answer almost every other question that you are faced with. Maybe you’re looking for a temp-to-hire role, testing the waters to see what product results from college students, or maybe your company is growing so rapidly that new positions are being created and assistance is going to be needed, but you don’t want to jump in to hiring right yet. Whatever the case may be, outlining the need of why you’re looking for an intern is critical to what role they play and positions they fill.

After you have a clear idea on how the intern will fulfill their role in the company, outline your plan in detail.

 

What are they going to provide your business?

If you’re looking to use an intern to fill an administrative role  by having them make copies and get coffee, you’re not doing anyone any favors, and quite possibly you could be breaking labor laws. Interns can be hired without pay if they are earning academic credit and your position offers hands-on experience in their field, or they can be paid interns where they are looking for short-term experience and you can have them doing a variety of tasks to teach them their industry and/or the operations of your business. Be sure you know the rules before bringing on an intern for your company.

 

What can you provide to them?

Many interns are not only looking to fulfill college credit, but they’re looking to advance themselves with experience in the field they’re pursuing. Make sure you have an outlined plan that will help them fulfill their goals while conjunctively accomplishing company goals. A structured plan will have  goals that are outlined, completed, and monitored daily, weekly, and monthly for their allotted time at your business.,

 

Where are you going to find your intern?

There are plenty of options to find a great intern. A lot of colleges require internships as part of their curriculum to graduate. Working with colleges and their intern programs is one of the easiest ways to find the intern candidate that’s right for you and your company. You may also want to look at other third-party companies that specialize in matching interns with companies. Other ways to find interns include flexing on your network to find someone you may know or to place intern positions on various job and internship sites.

 

Determine if an intern is right for your company, create a plan, and build a symbiotic relationship that works to the benefit of everyone involved.