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Those who’re fresh out of college are eager to enter the job market. They’re filled with energy and have high hopes of creating a long-standing career in their chosen field. However, many available jobs (no matter how junior) require experience, a requirement that leaves most young professionals unemployed for longer than necessary. This is likely the reason why the job market is flooded with internships – some of them do pay, but often it’s less than minimum wage.
If you are considering offering an internship in your company or department then you need to account for the pros and cons of hiring interns
Firstly, they won’t cost you a fortune to employ. It’s not a nice thing to admit but it’s true. These young professionals usually want nothing more than to be able to say they worked for you and gain a good reference at the end of their temporary contract. This means that the very basic tasks (that most people put off til the last minute) can be handed to these interns and they’ll happily complete them. However, the flipside of this is that someone needs to teach them how to perform these mundane tasks. Unfortunately, whether they need to learn a basic data entry system or how to use your fancy coffee machine, someone has to take the time to show them the ropes. And, even then, they’re likely to make mistakes.
An intern is blank canvas and super absorbent. They’ll take on everything you tell them and are less likely to be argumentative as they haven’t been exposed to any other processes or systems they might deem more effective. Any details that are specific to your process will be accepted immediately. Also, interns are often overly keen to impress in the hopes of signing a permanent contract with the company. This usually translates to lots of fresh ideas. Some are unrealistic, but keep listening for the one concept they bring to the table that can add value, or better yet, profit.
Your contract with your intern is temporary which means you don’t have to worry about setting them up with company benefits
This means making a hire but with little to no admin apart from the temporary contract you sign. You don’t have to worry about setting up their medical aid, retirement annuity or bonus structures. This is the privilege of the permanent employees. However, if your company has a skills levy and you would like to assist your fresh new employee in increasing their skill set to meet your company’s needs then you might considering sending them on various courses.
The pros tend to outweigh the cons when it comes to offering internships
Having a fresh, young professional in your workplace may require time but it won’t require much money so the risk is low. If you’re lucky, you may find an intern with a knack for innovation who adds value to your company and helps you grow.
This article was brought to you by Kwelanga Training, which provides finance courses for non-financial managers.