Employer insight: Top Tips for hiring Graduate Interns

28th November 2022
Employer insight: Top Tips for hiring Graduate Interns

More than just cost effective resource, graduate talent can help your business prosper. Humber businesses reveal their top suggestions for other employers thinking about taking on a graduate intern.

There has never been a better time to recruit Graduate Talent. Hundreds of University graduates will enter the workforce in the next 6 months, and for you as an employer this is an opportunity to tap into ambitious and skilled talent ready to start a successful career.

Over 45 Humber based employers have benefited by bringing a part-funded intern into the business for 12 weeks through the Humber Internships Programme. Some employers found that their interns gave a much needed extra pair of hands over the three month period and over 80% of employers decided to keep their interns on afterwards and make them a permanent employee.

Featuring honest advice and testimonials from small business owners who have hired interns, some for the first time, read on for 5 factors that can make your experience with interns a great one.…


#1 Know who you are looking for

90% of employer respondents said that to get the most value out of the internship, you need to know who you’re looking for and what skills they need.

Angela De Kok, at Cablepoint recruited a Graduate Engineering Technician this year and has found the experience to be wholly positive:

”Give specific details about what you are looking for them to do on the job advertisement and during interview.”

Ask yourself questions like: Who would make an ideal candidate? What are your expectations from them? Make sure you consider future skills as well—there are many skills that can be taught as long as the interns have the potential and drive to learn.

By building a good profile of the intern you are looking for, the Humber Internships Programme will help to find you the best talent available, potential interns will know if they fit the description and you’ll benefit from bringing in the skills and knowledge your business is looking for.


#2 Preparation pays off

For everyone to benefit from an internship, our businesses have told us that one of the most important aspects of delivering an internship is to make sure they are well managed.

Finance broker The Personal Finance Centre benefited from a Marketing Graduate for 12 weeks over summer. Lesley Laws, Operations Director believes it is critical to plan for a support and mentoring:

“Make sure you are set up as a Business to give the intern support, the 12 weeks is very brief therefore, I would recommend a support structure in place with clear direction and someone to support on a daily basis that can coach and mentor the intern’s ideas.”

By being prepared, your business is ready to welcome your intern and provide the information and support they need to succeed. In-turn, your intern will be able to grips with the job and quickly become productive.

It’s a win-win situation.

Saffron Gregg, Marketing Intern now Marketing Assistant for Marketing Humber


#3 Have realistic expectations

 Our interns are University-level students and graduates that are new to the world of work. They work in a business on a work placement for 12 weeks to gain experience in a field that piques their interest and possibly leads to future employment.

So what does this tell us?

Interns are ambitious; they want to get stuck in and have an enriching experience, but they are not ready to run a factory or take the lead in delivering your next ground-breaking idea.

An intern is primarily a support role – at least in the beginning. When they start they’ll need to assist, learn and grow before taking on more responsibility.

Typical roles could be: assisting colleagues, figuring out better systems, presentations, social media, analysing data, competitor research or nurturing customers.


#4 Be clear about the benefits

Of course, potential interns want to know about the benefits—what’s in it for them? It’s a competitive job market and they have skills which are highly sought after, so it’s critical to think about what benefits you can offer to help you stand out and attract the best.

Simon Hudson is a founder of Kinata, a technology and health business. Having recently hired intern, Nathan, as an Operations Executive Intern for 12 weeks, Simon suggests thinking beyond pay.

“Think hard about what you will provide to the intern in terms of upskilling, experiences, life-experience and a kick-start to their career.”


#5 Internships are worth the investment

Matt Vinyl Graphics hired a Graphic Designer to manage new enquiries and come up with innovative design-work:

“Our advice would be to take the step, whether this prove to work out for your company or not, it is definitely worth investing the time in. To employ someone with the training and knowledge you require saves lots of time”.  says Lauren Nicholson.

Helen Johnson from Creme d’Or, a Driffield based confectionery wholesaler , says that the “Humber Internship Programme allowed them to test the water and look at ways they can bring graduate-level ability and mould that person to the business”.

“My advice would be to go for it. It is a fantastic opportunity to introduce skills at a high level.” Helen recruited Graphic Designer, Sarah Day for a 12 week internship before offering permanent employment.


So what now? Could Graduate Talent be an option for your business?

Talk to us today or book onto one of our events to meet our experts.

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