Recognising the benefits of internships, many mid-sized and small businesses are starting to bring interns into their business. Companies see it not only as a way to get extra hands on their projects but also as an opportunity to attract top talent.
As a businesses, you’ll want someone that can add value, and perhaps someone who you can shape into devoted and talented future employee. We’ve put together our top tips to help you attract the best emerging talent.
1. Design your internship programme
One of the most important parts of internships is to ensure they are well managed.
There may be questions to clarify internally before The Humber Internship Programme (HIP) can begin promoting your job and reaching out to potential interns. For example, what is the goal of the internship? Who are the interns going to work with? What skills will you need and for which department?
And, by sharing this information in your job description potential interns will know what the job is about, what experience they’ll gain, where they can apply their skills and what they can learn.
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.
2. Know who you’re looking for
To make sure your business gets value out of the internship, you need to know who you’re looking for, what skills they have, and other important details to help find the right talent to support your business needs.
Ask yourself questions like: What skills does the business need? Where do we need additional resource? Who is your ideal candidate for the internship? What are your expectations for the intern? 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, HIP 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.
3. Be flexible
Joe Hancock, Careers Consultant at The Humber Internship Programme (HIP) said:
“In addition to subject specific skills and knowledge, graduates from all courses share valuable graduate attributes. These may have been developed during their studies or through extra-curricular activities – like positions of responsibility in societies, teams or part-time work. “
“As many graduates decide against pursuing careers directly related to their course I always encourage SME’s to recognise the transferable nature of graduate attributes – things like critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication and self-management. Where possible, opening up your internship to any degree discipline can really pay off in helping you attract the best talent and a more diverse range of applicants.”
Have you considered opening your internship up for working from home or hybrid working? Data from Reed.co.uk shows that people using the ‘work from home’ filter are more than twice as likely to apply for a job.
“For businesses to attract the best talent in the current market, consider if remote working is a possibility. Calling this out clearly in a job advert will help attract a broader pool of potential candidates that are still in the Humber region, but perhaps located slightly further afield.” Says Joe.
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.
Yes, pay is important. However, you wouldn’t expect to pay an intern the same salary as a full- time, experienced employee. They are, after all, new to the world of work and will need help and support. But you’ll still need to ensure your pay rate is competitive for the skills you require, which, the expert team at HIP can provide valuable guidance and insight about.
Even if you can’t pay your intern much above the National Living Wage, tell interns what else you can offer.
Are there future full-time job opportunities? Free lunches? Fun activities? Once you’re internally aligned on the salary, benefits, and perks, make them clear to your internship candidates. This will help you stand out against other internship programs in a competitive job market.
5. Advertise in the right places
With a solid idea of who you’re looking for and what you’re going to offer them, you now need to reach them.
HIP will take care of this for you.
Your job description will be made available to recent graduates and current degree level students within the University of Hull and across the Humber region.
We have access to hundreds of ambitious, hard-working graduates who are ready to take on a Summer Internship. We’ll also advertise your role through University Careers and Employability teams, as well as working with professors and lectures for referrals. On top of that we’ll promote your role on LinkedIn, which attracts many students looking for internship opportunities.
6. Refine your selection process
The HIP team will initially sift through the applicant CVs to ensure that the candidates presented to you are eligible for the programme and suitable based on your needs.
Interns might not have all the relevant skills or experience you would normally look for since they are at the very beginning of their careers. That’s why you need to look for transferable skills in your candidates.
In your interviews, ask them about their part-time jobs and extracurricular activities to find out how they work. Do they have active learning skills? Do they have a growth mindset? How are their communication skills?
When you’re hiring interns (and any employee for your company, for that matter), use a combination of various methods to achieve a fair and thorough selection process.
Continue with asking the right interview questions to uncover who your candidates are. For example, if you want to find out whether or not they have active learning skills you’re looking for, ask them what they’ve learned in the past year and how they applied it to future tasks.
7. Let them shine
Talented interns crave opportunity. They want to be able to grow, develop and learn as well as performing to high standards. Give them this opportunity and help them understand where and how they can develop.
When it works, everyone learns, everyone wins.
Of course, you want to recruit the best interns for your company. You know that they can help your business grow by offering fresh, innovative outlooks and potentially even becoming your full-time employees if they perform well and have finished their studies.
HIP will support you throughout the whole process to ensure everyone benefits.
So if you’re ready to take the next step, make sure you talk to HIP today.