Interns are a mix between observational learners and temporary employees, and they occupy unique positions within the companies they work with. Internship positions provide college students and aspiring career-minded learners with opportunities to gain experience in their chosen fields with companies who may not otherwise hire them. Internships can be either full or part time, and interns can be tasked with a wide range of contributions to full-time employees’ efforts. Using intern programs as a human resource management tool can provide distinct benefits for your organization.
In a way, internships can be seen as extensive, in-depth job interviews, allowing companies to work with and get to know job applicants before bringing them on board. While a range of internship opportunities are purely temporary, some companies specifically keep an eye on interns to look for promising future employees. If managers are not especially impressed with an intern’s performance, they can kindly say goodbye at the end of the internship, preventing the company from bringing the wrong people on board. If managers are impressed, on the other hand, they can invite interns to submit formal job applications at the end of their internship.
Interns are mainly interested in two things: hands-on experience and a line item for their resume. Because of this, interns are almost always willing to do the types of work that only slows full-time employees down. Bringing interns on board to complete administrative tasks, while still providing them with opportunities to learn, can free up full-time personnel for more productive tasks, increasing operational efficiency and employee productivity.
Internship positions can be either paid or unpaid. Paid interns are generally willing to work for much less than a full-time job applicant would ask for, and they are often willing to work part time with no benefits. Unpaid internships allow companies to experience all of the advantages of bringing interns on board without incurring any additional labor costs. This can add cost efficiency to the operational efficiencies mentioned earlier.
Internship programs can attract the right kind of job applicants for certain businesses. College students looking to gain experience and build a career flock to internship opportunities, and savvy companies work with college professors to gain personal internship recommendations. Not only can internships attract a steady flow of qualified job seekers, but interns hired on to full-time positions can be more committed to and appreciative of their employers than employees hired directly, since the company gave them a big opportunity before they had accumulated any experience.