Setting up an effective internship programme is a great way to ensure you make successful hires as you can assess a candidate’s suitability for your company during their placement. Furthermore, you can gain a good reputation as an organisation who is dedicated to providing an interesting and useful experience for jobseekers, which will help attract top talent to your business. So how can you make sure your internship programme is successful and helps to improve your hiring process?
Before you advertise your internship programme, it’s best to hold a meeting with everyone who will be involved with the scheme to ensure it’ll run smoothly. It’s important to use this time to clarify exactly what you expect from the programme in terms of the performance of the intern and the goals you will set them. In addition, appoint a member of staff to manage the programme so your intern will have someone to turn to for guidance and you can iron out any issues before they exacerbate. By identifying what the intern will be required to accomplish during their placement and who will see over their work beforehand, you can make sure your scheme has the best chance of succeeding both for the company and the intern.
Offer real projects.
There is no point inviting interns into your business if you’re not going to allow them to develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. Tales of internships consisting of making tea and running personal errands often cause interns to feel apprehensive when they apply for a placement. Trusting them with real projects will not only enable them to develop their skill set, but it’ll also allow you to train new talent so they’re able to fill vacancies for specialist roles in your company. They will appreciate the opportunity to not only acquire specific skills but also develop transferable ones to help them in the future. Furthermore, when word gets out that you actually provide a useful and fulfilling experience, more and more talented individuals will apply for your internship schemes which will help to drive your business forward.
Interns should be given the chance to show off their work in a presentation in front of staff at the end of their placement, as this will allow both sides to witness the success of the programme. Gaining feedback from your interns on their experience with you is the only way you can see the scheme from their perspective; it’ll highlight the areas that work well as well as those that may need improving. Their observations could perhaps even provide you with ideas for adjusting the programme to better suit future candidates or attract more people to your opportunities. How you gain this feedback is up to you: you could ask them to complete a questionnaire or organise an interview over the phone or in person. If possible, it’s best to do both: gather the general information about the programme via the questionnaire and then gain more personal feedback in the interview. This is also the perfect opportunity to discuss the potential for a permanent role in the future if you’ve decided the candidate is a perfect fit for your company.
So if you’re thinking about offering an internship programme or your current one is seeing little success, consider the above to help improve its efficiency. It’s important that the placement benefits both sides by providing the intern with a valuable experience and your company with a talented potential hire and good reputation.