5 Things To Consider When Employing An Intern

How do you find an intern to work at your company? What qualities should you look for? How much are they going to cost? These are just some of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself when considering whether or not you want to hire an intern to work at your company. This article from the HKUST Job internships and career section will give you five things to consider before committing to this decision.

1) What are their goals?

Before even thinking about what type of position you’d like to offer an intern, it’s important that you learn as much as possible about their background and goals. By asking a few simple questions, they will share key details with you, such as their long-term career ambitions and how much time they can dedicate to your organization. This is also a great opportunity for you to find out whether or not they have any interest in taking on a leadership role within your organization at some point in their careers.

2) How long will the internship last?

How long should your internship last? Ask for a minimum of three months, as you need time to assess whether or not it’s working out. The exception is if you are looking for interns with specific skills that can add immediate value to your company. In that case, you may only want them for a few weeks.

3) What tasks will they perform?

You need to be sure your intern will be working on tasks you need help with. If they’re sitting around doing nothing while they fill out their weekly timesheet, you might as well not have them there at all. That said, don’t give them busy work either—have a solid outline of what they should accomplish each week so you can determine if they are providing you value.

4) What kind of schedule do you have?

As you decide whether you have time for an intern, be sure to think about your specific schedule. You’ll likely have questions like: What kind of schedule do I have? Do I work days or nights? Do I travel a lot, or am I home for extended periods? How often do I go out for business dinners and drinks after work? The more flexible your schedule is, the easier it will be to incorporate an intern into it. If you know that you’re going to be traveling a lot over a certain period, consider holding off on hiring an intern until that busy season has passed.

5) Do you have the budget to pay them?

Depending on where you’re at in your business, you may be able to afford an intern or not. If you can’t pay your intern, consider offering them school credit and allowing them a say in their hours. Remember, unpaid internships are very risky due to all sorts of legal issues that could result. Find out what a fair wage is for your industry and region (including tax) and adhere as closely as possible.

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