Human Resources - How to Develop an Internship Program

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

career opportunity, human resources, paid internship

Internships lay a foundation for hiring brilliant young minds, developing career opportunity progression and develop young talent. Businesses, especially small companies, can benefit from young talent increase their productivity.

The key to setting up an internship program is quite simple. Outline concrete steps that will help your company launch a solid internship plan. But many aspiring businesses don’t know how to recruit interns. If it’s your first time developing an internship program, be it a paid internship or otherwise, here are a few things you must know.

Assess Your Organization

Before conducting interviews and hiring internees, evaluate your small business or company and take your human resources department into consideration if you have one. Here are a few questions that can help you identify your goals and desired outcomes from your internship program.

· How do you plan on compensating or paying your interns for the time and effort? Will you offer career opportunity development to your interns?

· Can your company support multiple interns?

· Can you offer any meaningful work to your interns and can your human resources staff train them efficiently?

· What are the type of projects you plan on assigning to your interns?

· What will be the duration of the internship period?

· Is your physical space equipped to accommodate a new workforce?

Legal Ramifications

The recruitment officials or human resources staff must understand the legal ramifications of recruiting interns in your state whenever a company designs an internship program. Some factors to consider include hiring and termination guidelines, safety and harassment policy, compensation issues for paid internships, and other traditional benefits. According to The Fair Labor Standards Act, a company must pay all its employees. Now, a company may or may not consider its interns as employees.

However, if a company does not intend to pay its internees, here are the criteria they must meet:

· The employer and intern understand that the internship program does not offer any compensation.

· The internship program does not guarantee a job.

· The employer will accommodate the intern’s academic commitments and offer learning opportunities in exchange for his/her services.

· The intern does not perform any work that replaces the work of a paid employee.

Evaluate Candidates

After formulating and assessing your company’s policy on an internship, the next step is to look for promising talent that your company can train. Devising a foolproof system for screening and evaluating resumes can help you access the best available ability.

Recruitment officials possess the right skillset to interview, select, and recruit interns. After relevant tests or/and interviews, recruiters make the final decisions. Once your company hires an intern, refer to your internship development program for initiating the orientation and onboarding process.

Train and Mentor

Remember to prepare a presentation or a training module that explains how the internship program will help both the internees and the company, as well as the potential for career opportunity development. Discuss and communicate your expectations from your interns by identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Encourage interns to mingle with your company staff and ask any questions that will help them progress.

Final Thoughts

Don’t underestimate the benefits of an active internship program or paid internship position. Some of today’s most successful managers and leaders started as internees. If you want to know how your company can benefit from an internship model, get in touch with Greensboro Staffing Consultants. We offer customized and targeted staffing solutions to help our clients scale their business.