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Small Business Tips

How to Hire an Intern for Your Small Business

MileIQ Team

Hiring employees is a key way to grow your business. But, don't neglect the value of an intern. Here's how to hire an intern for your small business.

Why hire interns for your small business?

Hiring an intern for your small business can translate into big gains for your company. It may offer great R.O.I. and profitability. That's why you must choose the right one.

More benefits of hiring an intern

Qualified interns can provide many benefits:

  • Cost Savings. Hiring an intern can help boost your productivity with minimal damage to your budget.
  • A bigger bottom line. Interns typically work without costly health benefits and other perks. Not to mention, some work for free or for lower wages.
  • Enhanced Productivity. Interns provide extra labor that leads to more production.

Tips for getting the best interns

Assess your needs before you start looking for an intern. The proper fit is crucial.

Do you want someone who's social media savvy? A tech person who is familiar with the software to manage your website? Do you want a worker who can handle administrative functions?

Your corporate needs will dictate what type of worker you look for and where you would search. These are things to take into consideration.  Remember, a clear job description improves your chances of connecting with the most qualified individuals.

It's convenient to have interns on hand to handle "gofer" duties. And many times, they handle the "fill-in-as-needed" tasks.

Yet, aim to create a win/win situation for all parties. Do this by setting clear, consistent, task-based guidelines.

Don't forget about social media

Employers can learn a lot about potential employees from their online activities. Do some background research to identify potential "red flags."

In other words, what kind of presence or online image does the candidate have? Does he/she bad-mouth former employers? Display distasteful photos on Facebook? Have interests or activities that would reflect poorly on your company's core values? Due diligence is important.

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Find the right job board

Post your open position in the best forum. Use a job board dedicated to your specific professional needs or industry.

Here are a few examples:

Should you pay your intern?

The thought of unpaid labor is always appealing. But, follow all the labor laws. If you decide to pay your intern, be sure to follow your local minimum wage laws.

Hire interns interested in your field

Related interest can often lead to higher performance levels. Workers who enjoy their duties tend to execute with greater enthusiasm. Passion yields positive results.

Get recommendations

Recommendation letters can help employers identify other important traits that lead to workplace success.

Here are some desired traits:

  • Reliability
  • Trustworthiness
  • Punctuality
  • Honesty
  • Maturity

What to avoid when hiring interns

Some things to avoid include the following:

  • Hiring an intern without a strategic approach or clearly established criteria
  • Waiting to the last minute to hire
  • Hiring your neighbor's kid out of desperation
  • Failing to include key members of your staff in the decision-making process

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