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Tips for Choosing an Intern for Your Business

April 7th, 2015

July 25th HR Managers

Businesses use interns for many reasons. Some business owners view hiring interns as a way to “pay forward” invaluable skills and industry knowledge they learned during college internships of their own. Other business owners see it as a method of “pre-qualifying” potential job applicants who may be interested in full-time positions after graduation. Still others see internships as a rite of passage for the interns and a “good will” opportunity for the business.

Regardless of how you view the hiring of interns, there is a process you’ll want to consider to ensure that you’re betting on the best intern for your business and its needs.

Here are a few things you may want to keep in mind as you choose an intern for your business.

Play the Field Before Placing Your Bet

This doesn’t mean you should hire a wide range of interns and only stick with a few. What it does mean is that you should interview several different candidates before you settle on one (or however many interns you plan to be hiring at the moment). You’ll encounter a lot of different interns from a wide range of backgrounds. You’re shortchanging yourself and your business if you take the first one that comes along without at least exploring a few other options.

Remember that you’re investing a lot of time and attention on your intern and you are entrusting this person with something very important to you – the good name and reputation of your business. You don’t want to rush into hiring decisions that really may not be in the best interest of your business.

Look Outside the Box for Candidates

The general consensus is to go with people who are majoring in a specific field and looking for careers in a specific industry. That’s fine for some businesses. But, could it be holding your business back from new ideas and innovations? If you really want to make sure you’re getting the best of the best, then you definitely need a bigger pool to draw from. You never know when you’ll find a real gem in some seemingly unrelated program of study.

Consider What YOU have to Offer Them

While many businesses are in search of the perfect candidate to meet their needs, it’s not a bad idea to take a step back and consider the candidates and the needs they bring to the table as well. Most businesses focus on the well-rounded, polished, and refined intern candidates. Consider exploring those that really shine in some areas while remaining a little rough around the edges in others.

These are the candidates that bring the most to the table in reality. They are also the candidates that you can best shape into the flawless gem you know is lurking just beneath the surface. You have the knowledge to help bend them and shape them into a beautiful mixture of talent, technique, and enhanced confidence. This will, in turn, give you back so much more from this candidate than you would have ever anticipated before.

The key to finding the perfect intern for your business is in your willingness to explore the candidates that are available to you and interested in your business. The relationships forged during the internship process can be some of the best and most mutually beneficial relationships you’ll ever build in business.

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