If you have a business that is running all its employees at full capacity yet you don’t quite have the resources to hire more full-time employees, the idea of bringing in some interns may be enticing. However, if you’re not prepared for what having interns at your company actually entails, you could be getting in way over your head without actually getting any quality help. So to show you how you can bring in interns without pulling your own hair out, here are three tips for using interns at your small company.
Using interns as a fall-back for being overloaded with work will rarely turn out well for you. Because interns are generally young students who will need your direction, you’ve got to plan ahead before you try to bring in these extra hands. Robin Reshawn, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, suggests writing out actual job descriptions for your prospective interns so you know exactly what you’re planning to use them for as well as giving them enough information to tell if this internship will be a mutually beneficial relationship.
Err on The Side Of Over Teaching
Interns typically have very little real-world work experience, especially in professional fields—hence the necessity of an internship. Knowing this, Betsy Aimee, a contributor to TheMuse.com, recommends that you never assume that one of your interns has any prior knowledge about a task or project you’re giving them. While this may require you to give more direction and educating than you might like, this is a much better alternative to having your intern complete a task incorrectly due to a lack of understanding or experience.
Give Them A Big, Non-Critical Project
Managing the daily work given to an intern, whether full-time or part-time, can be a big job. Not only does this require you to complete your own work, but you’ve also got to give them tasks and then make sure those tasks were completed correctly. This can be a huge drain on your own time that could be spent working. To avoid this becoming a big issue, Andrew Cohen, a contributor to Entrepreneur.com, recommends giving your interns one large, non-critical project to work on over the course of their internship with you so you can have some work for them to fall back on when you can’t take the time to give them a new task.
Interns can be both a blessing and a curse to work with. To make sure that your experience with interns is more positive than negative for both parties, use some of the tips mentioned above the next time you’re bringing interns into your company.