Growing your own talent by providing on-the-job-training will give interns insight into the day-today operations of your business. This results in more efficient assimilation if a full-time offer is extended. Additionally, this offers a chance for employers to screen potential employees before investing in permanent hiring. You’re probably thinking, “Great! Sign me up,” but there are some considerations to make before you take the leap. The first step in starting any internship process is to determine the internal needs of the organization.
Consider the following before deciding to host an internship:
Will the intern be governed by an institution, such as Midwestern State University or Vernon College?
When hiring a “traditional” intern typically defined as an undergraduate student, it is important to know the requirements that their institution may have if the student is receiving credit for their internship with you. This is an important consideration to make because it may shape how your processes, such as evaluations, will take place. The good news is that this information is readily available on each institution’s website and usually responsibility for proper completion and documentation is on the student.
Bottom Line: Create your own policies around on-boarding, evaluations and duration and adjust on a case-by-case basis to accommodate the student’s needs.
Should your program be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor?
In general, individual internship programs are not required to be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). However, if you are considering offering a Apprenticeship, there are significant benefits for becoming registered with the DOL. Components of a registered apprenticeship according to the DOL include: “Paid Job, On-the-Job Training, Classroom Learning, Mentorship, and Credentials.”
If you’re interested in learning more about a registered apprenticeship program, you can review the DOL’s site here.
Bottom Line: Unless you are looking to gain the leverage of a national backing of a potential apprenticeship, you don’t need to register with the DOL.
What is the scope of work that the intern will be completing?
The DOL outlines that an internship should offer a trainee both a combination of education and experience that would be similar to the hands-on training that an intern would typically learn in an educational environment. Additionally, internships should not replace a full- or part-time employee. Therefore, make sure your internship consists of legitimate tasks, projects and assignments that can benefit an intern’s education. No coffee-fetching allowed!
Still need help? Answer these questions to dig down further on what your intern will be doing:
- What will be the daily duties of the intern?
- What skills or level of education does your intern need to possess to participate in your workforce effectively?
- Are there age or licensing restrictions in your organization that limit the work that can be done by an individual?
- Will you assign a special project for the intern to complete?
- In which department can an intern best fit, and who will be their supervisor?
Bottom Line: As long as you have quality projects to complete, you can find a quality intern to help!
Does your industry or organization require skills not typically provided in a classroom setting?
The best part of creating an internship program is the opportunity to grow your own talent pool to the exactspecifications that you need for a quality employee! Exposing your intern(s) to your processes, equipment and team creates a one-of-kind, custom-built talent pool for future full-time hires.
Bottom line: Providing a new, unique experience to an intern that can’t be learned in any other setting will greatly supplement an intern’s education and it’s no more challenging than training any other new employee.
Do you have difficulty recruiting and retaining quality employees?
An internship program, especially a long-term program, will give you the opportunity to build strong connections to your interns who understand and appreciate your business or organization. The longer an intern works within your program, the more knowledge and experience they gain about the both their job and your organization. This greatly increases their ability to function as an asset on your team if hired for full-time employment.
Bottom Line: Internships allow you to build quality future employees from the ground up, and they’ll be the easiest hire you ever make.
Can your organization or employees benefit from the help of an intern?
Let’s answer a question with a question. Can your employees benefit from any of the following advantages that an intern can bring to your organization or business?
- Allow full-time staff the flexibility to work on higher-level projects while also gaining leadership skills.
- Increase retention.
- Assist in the implementation of cutting-edge techniques and new ideas
- Maintain connections with institutions.
- Promote community involvement.
- Recruit other students within their program and increase pipeline prospects.
- Allow your company to give back to the community by teaching, molding, and mentoring the prospective workforce.
Bottom line: if you answer YES to any of the above questions, an internship will be very advantageous for your business or organization.
Lastly, employers should also consider the costs to beginning an internship program, which can include wages, housing, networking activities, recruitment costs, work materials and training costs.
With both the competition and growing need for talented workforce increasing, internships allow for opportunities to recruit and retain individuals in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. There is an intern to fit your every need at every level of education and experience.
Ready to get started? Refer to our free Employer Guide to take your step-by-step through the development process. Have questions? Email Taylor Davis, the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership Director, at Taylor@WichitaFallsChamber.com.
Read Types of Interns Part 2
High School Students
Active Duty, Veterans, Military Spouses
Leadership and professional development opportunities for employees
Increase employee retention
New ideas and perspectives
Connection to educators and community
Save money when compared to hiring a part-time or full-time employee