What do interns bring to the table?
Interns always stand to gain more from a work placement than an employer, right? Wrong! Done right, the chances are it will be a positive learning experience for both parties. Sure, it’s always great to have an extra pair of hands at minimum financial cost, but internships are about so much more than saving money. That's certainly been our experience whenever we've taken on an intern or work placement student.
So, if the thought of taking on an intern has never crossed your mind, here are the top five reasons we think you should give it some serious consideration:
1) Get the inside scoop on social media and new tech
There’s no better way to get the Gen-Y perspective on the latest social platform or new media than introducing some switched-on millenials to the office demographic. While full-time staff have more experience and, in some cases, wisdom, it’s almost impossible to get a real understanding of how younger people use technology and social networks without bringing some true digital natives into the fold. In an era where technological innovation can help your company stay competitive, digital savvy interns are a definite boon.
2) Introduce natural brand evangelists to the team
A happy side effect of employing an intern is that they are highly motivated to spread the word about your brand. If they enjoy their time with you (and you make sure they do!) an intern will inevitably talk about your company with friends, family and peers. In today’s digital world, that translates into online social networks so it’s also a great way to boost your social media presence and garner interest from a youth audience. In other words, interns provide effective advertising and advocacy – all for free!
3) Use your workplace newbies as a fresh pair of eyes
Today’s young people tend to be self-assured and unafraid to ask questions which may lead to them suggesting smarter ways to go about things. If they are encouraged to share ideas and make suggestions, their fresh perspective can often highlight better work practices. This is particularly handy for smaller companies or workplaces which tend to be set in their ways - or stuck in the past.
4) Find future employees and test drive talent
Taking an intern under your wing is a great way of assessing future employees and creating a pipeline of potential candidates. In effect, you’re test-driving and forming connections with future staff members who may apply when a full-time position open up. Not only are you able to assess their potential to learn and develop but observe their social skills and ability to gel with the wider team.
5) Increase productivity with an extra pair of hands
With a limited timeframe in which to impress, interns are keen to pull out all the stops. Knowing your recommendation will help them get on the first rung of the ladder means that they put in the extra effort at work. As they're able to focus on specific tasks without the burden of constant meetings, busy email inboxes and deadlines for different projects, they can be a huge asset in ‘getting things done’.
With such great benefits, we believe hiring an intern is clearly worth the effort. Be warned though: it’s not about cheap labour or getting rid of your tedious admin workload. Unless you can dedicate time to training and mentorship, it will end badly for everyone. To ensure a positive experience, set clear goals for your interns and spend the time to make sure they leave with new skills to launch their career.
Are you student or new graduate looking for an internship in digital design or web development? Our digital team will be at the next Digital Meetup in Glasgow, SWG3, Finnieston on 31st March 2016 to dish out career advice and recruit our next wave of interns.