Why Should You Hire Interns in 2024? 

A young Black woman leads her team in a project meeting

By

INTOO Staff Writer

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Picture this: a stream of enthusiastic, tech-savvy go-getters ready to breathe new life into your company. 

That’s the power of hiring interns. It’s not just about extra hands on deck—it’s about tapping into a wellspring of fresh ideas and energy.

Hiring interns can be a strategic move for businesses. As a savvy business leader, you know that staying ahead of the curve means constantly evolving. Interns are your secret weapon in this ongoing battle for innovation and growth. They bring the latest academic knowledge and a perspective unencumbered by “the way things have always been done.”

Internships aren’t just a boon for your business. They’re a golden ticket for young professionals looking to get their foot in the door and gain real-world experience. It’s a symbiotic relationship that, when done right, can yield incredible results for both parties.

Let’s dive into the art and science of hiring interns.

The Benefits Of Hiring Interns for Your Business 

Hiring interns brings many benefits to a business. First off, interns are like a shot of espresso for your team’s productivity. They can tackle those back-burner projects that have been collecting dust, freeing up your seasoned pros to focus on the big-picture stuff. 

Secondly, interns have a wide-eyed optimism that is contagious. Working with your seasoned staff, they can spark new approaches to old processes and inventive perspectives unhindered by jadedness.  

Thirdly, interns, fresh from the classroom where they are often taught by industry experts, come to you armed with cutting-edge theories and tech skills that can give your business a serious edge. 

Need someone to revamp your social media strategy or explain the latest industry buzzwords? Your intern’s got you covered. Or maybe you’re looking to implement that new data analytics tool everyone’s talking about—chances are, your intern has already used it in a class project and can hit the ground running.

And talk about a win-win situation—while they’re soaking up real-world experience like sponges, you’re essentially test-driving potential future superstars. It’s like an extended job interview but way more fun and productive. By the time you’re ready to make a full-time hire, you’ve already got a pool of pre-vetted candidates who know your company inside and out.

A manager helps an intern in an office

8 Steps to Hire Interns Successfully in 2024 

1. Define clear objectives

Before diving into the hiring process, outline specific projects or roles where interns can contribute meaningfully. Understanding your needs will help attract candidates with the right skills and interests, ensuring a mutually beneficial experience.

2. Design a structured program

Create a well-planned internship experience with clear timelines, goals, and learning opportunities. With a structured program, you will appeal to high-quality candidates and maximize the value for both your organization and the interns. Consider incorporating mentorship or shadowing days and regular feedback sessions.

3. Embrace remote and hybrid options

Flexibility is key here. Consider offering remote or hybrid internships to tap into a wider talent pool and accommodate diverse needs. Ensure you have the necessary technology and processes in place to support virtual collaboration, regardless of physical location.

4. Leverage digital recruitment channels

Utilize a mix of digital platforms to reach potential candidates. This includes social media, online job boards, virtual career fairs, and university partnerships. Showcase your company culture and internship opportunities through engaging digital content to attract the best candidates.

5. Implement skills-based assessments

Move beyond traditional resumes and interviews by incorporating practical challenges or case studies in your selection process. This approach helps identify candidates with the right skills and problem-solving abilities for your specific needs. Consider using AI-powered tools to streamline initial screenings and ensure a fair evaluation process.

6. Offer competitive compensation

Research market rates and offer fair compensation, whether it’s a stipend, hourly wage, or other benefits. To make your internship program more attractive, consider offering additional perks such as professional development opportunities, mentorship programs, or flexible working hours.

7. Focus on diversity and inclusion

Actively seek out diverse candidates by partnering with various educational institutions and organizations. Ensure your hiring process is inclusive and free from bias. Consider implementing blind resume reviews or using AI tools designed to reduce unconscious bias in the selection process.

A female employee helps a female intern in an office

8. Prepare for comprehensive onboarding

Develop a thorough onboarding process that effectively integrates interns into your team, whether in-person or virtually. The process might include:

  • A welcome package with all necessary information
  • An introduction to company culture, values, and goals
  • An offsite team-building exercise 
  • Training on essential tools and processes
  • A clear explanation of expectations and responsibilities
  • An assignment of a mentor or buddy
  • Regular check-ins to provide feedback and support

Finally, ensure your remote interns have the necessary technology and access to virtual collaboration tools. Consider creating virtual social events or team-building activities to foster connections among interns and full-time employees.

Think of all this as planting seeds for your future workforce. These bright-eyed interns could be your next rockstar employees or your biggest cheerleaders out there in the wild.

FAQS 

Is it ethical to hire unpaid interns?

In most cases, nowadays unpaid internships are a no-go. It’s not just about ethics; it’s often a legal issue, too. Think about it: if an intern is doing work that benefits your company, they deserve to be paid. Unpaid gigs are typically only permissible if they’re purely educational and don’t replace a paid position. Plus, offering a fair wage opens doors to a more diverse talent pool. So, do look to budget for paid internships. 

How do I onboard an intern?

Onboarding an intern does take some thought. Start with a warm welcome—maybe a company swag bag to make them feel part of the team. Give them a roadmap of what to expect, including their responsibilities and who’s who in the office. 

Assign a mentor or buddy to show them the ropes. For remote interns, make sure they have the tech tools they need to succeed. Most importantly, schedule regular check-ins. It’s all about making them feel supported and setting them up for success.

Begin Your Talent Strategy with INTOO

Remember, today’s interns are tomorrow’s industry leaders. A well-structured internship program can serve as a pipeline for future full-time hires and brand ambassadors for your company.

At INTOO, we specialize in enhancing your talent development strategies. Our comprehensive suite of career development services includes personalized coaching, skill-building workshops, and tailored training programs. These offerings can complement your internship program, ensuring interns and full-time employees have the resources they need to thrive and contribute to your organization’s success.

To learn more about how INTOO can support your talent development initiatives, please contact our team for a consultation.

INTOO Staff Writer

INTOO staff writers come from diverse backgrounds and have extensive experience writing about topics that matter to the HR and business communities, including outplacement, layoffs, career development, internal mobility, candidate experience, succession planning, talent acquisition, and more.

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