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How to hire great interns at your small business

Veronica C. | April 17, 2012

As a small business, you're constantly looking for ways to bring your organization to the next level. Whether it's finding ways to connect to your local community, developing a social media strategy, expanding your client base, offering employee incentive programs or determining new money-saving practices, there are a variety of ways your small company can do big things. Internships are also becoming a prevalent practice in order to train young people to work in the industry and hire graduates after college. However, this might seem like a daunting task if you've never considered an intern program before. Here are some tips to help you get started.

While you might not be able to offer interns regular wages, there are a number of other ways you can provide adequate compensation for their services. Experience alone can often be its own reward, particularly in a competitive job market that demands entry-level job candidates who already have a diverse resume by the time they've graduated from college.

You can also provide recommendations, references and connections for interns looking to take the next step into full-time employment. Check with local colleges to see about establishing an internship partnership that will provide you direct access to ambitious young people looking to earn academic credit for their work.

Before you rush to start interviewing internship candidates, you should make sure you have a clear-cut understanding of what you expect from these workers. College students are looking to gain real world experience and knowledge in their chosen field, so your job description should go beyond a vaguely outlined assistant position. Determine a concrete role that you would like your interns to play at your organization.

Finally, it's important to remember that interns are not regular employees – they'll need plenty of guidance and assistance from you to segue into their responsibilities at your company. Their success is largely determined by your investment in them, so make sure you're prepared to play the part of a teacher.

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Category: Employers

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