As a student studying communication at a private college in Paris, Clara Auffret, currently on an internship with Compass Rose Marketing & PR, tells us what companies need to know before hiring an intern?
Every year, a lot of students need to do an internship to put their learning to good use in a company.
It may have occurred to you to recruit an intern to meet your needs, or to give a chance to a student who has requested it.
Before recruiting an intern, there are several questions to ask yourself to maximise the benefit of this eager resource, to your company.
Before committing to taking on an intern, here are 5 important aspects to consider.
1- The tasks in the company and the field of study of the intern
The intern will have a document summarising the main objectives and the tasks he must perform during their stay in the company that will host them. So, the first question to ask yourself before seriously considering recruiting an intern is: “Can the tasks to be covered in the description of the internship be within your company?”
2- To recruit an intern, it is also to supervise it and to welcome them.
Commit yourself to appoint a student leader or a buddy system within your company. This person will be responsible for initiating, training, evaluating and supervising the trainee and will also collaborate with the supervising professor at the student’s college /university..
Plan a space with the bare necessities and have passwords etc ready too. It shows you are professional.
A good idea could be to have an integration dinner or lunch with the supervisor and team members, as in addition to the person in charge of the internship, employees and managers who will work with the intern must be available to coach and integrate his presence into their daily schedule. By being well supervised, having an adequate reception and having a well structured internship, the trainee will be able to acquire the practical knowledge and deliver against your company’s needs too.
3- Consider the intern’s remuneration
As it is often left to the companies’ discretion, take the time to evaluate whether intern’s remuneration is an option. If remuneration is mandatory, evaluate the salary to be paid according to the needs of the internship.
In order to determine an appropriate remuneration, consider the nature of the tasks, the schedule, the trainee’s academic and professional experience, etc.
If the remuneration is not mandatory and you choose not to pay (for reasons of budgets, or other), you can instead consider alternatives.
For example: gift cards, lunches, integration dinners, bus/train card, etc.
4- Meet the intern for an interview
Make the connection between the intern’s personality, values, attitudes, behaviour and the social and technical realities of the work environment. Tell them about your business and the tasks that will need to be executed during the internship. Ask them questions about their course and interests and personal goals, and give them honest, relevant information about the internship, and the remuneration.
If it’s an international internship, and your intern is abroad, you can set up a Skype Call so it wouldn’t be very difficult to see and have a conversation with your future intern!
5- Determine if there is a potential of a future relationship
It’s perfectly okay to hire an intern for a short and specific period of time, but if the relationship is going to end permanently after a month or two, you’re going to invest in them and structure the internship much differently than you would if there’s the possibility of them transitioning into a full-time employee. Besides, most candidates head into an internship hoping that they will make a good impression and end up being hired permanently.
It is up to you whether you have the funds or the space available to hire someone permanently, but it could be beneficial. If they have already spent three months or more learning the ropes, and are shining in the role, then having them stay on would be a lower risk decision than letting them go and having to hire someone new further down the line.