Many businesses today offer internship programs. The need for real-world business experience is becoming increasingly relevant in today's competitive job market. And so, for young people, the opportunity to work at a company helps them gain entry-level experience. In addition, as the first step in one's career journey, internships help participants develop the skills they will need to excel.
Internships can vary in length and responsibility, and the benefits extend to both the intern and the employer. Today, we will investigate internships and look at why your business should consider implementing an internship program; we discuss:
- What does it mean when I say, intern? What are its purpose and the role of an intern within a company?
- The benefits an organization may achieve, from expanding their talent pipeline for future full-time employees to developing their staff's leadership capabilities, if they decide to embrace an internship program.
What is an Internship?
An internship is a work experience offered by companies to provide individuals with a professional learning experience and knowledge about a particular field. In addition, it gives entry-level experience, a chance to explore potential career opportunities, and insight into the working world. An internship is their first foray into a professional environment for many young people.
During their time at a company, they can learn the business's day-to-day functions or a specific position or career path, alongside the expectations of employment and workplace culture.
So, they will hopefully conclude their experience having learnt new skills and improved their understanding of what it takes to work.
What advantages can an internship program bring to your business?
Build your workforce of the future
Today, 40% of full-time employees come from a company's internship program. As a result, companies with an internship program can help develop their pipeline for future full-time employees in a competitive labor landscape.
Internships are perfect test periods. It allows your organization to screen possible new hires and get to know the latest generation entering the workforce.
At the same time, interns can learn about your business. How your company runs, and in the process, you can identify the individuals who possess the skills you desire and whom you can invite to join your organization full-time.
Developing talent through internships can result in speedier assimilation. The internship experience will have provided an insight into the workplace environment and how the people and business structure work alongside its goals and trends.
Thus, hopefully, making the transition into a new environment far more straightforward.
In addition, interns who have previously worked at an organization are far more likely to stay with a company longer. A 2015 survey found that those hired through internship programs had a five-year retention rate higher than those who weren't.
Internships can help you to expand your employee candidate pool. Investing and developing your internship program can allow you to map out the future of your workforce and invest in the present and future success.
Offering a fresh perspective on company activity
Internships can help your organization build bridges across generational divides. In addition, the introduction of new, diverse voices can help keep your businesses aware of the latest technologies and popular trends, so you are constantly evolving.
Furthermore, introducing different perspectives into your workplace can provide a fresh take on your organization. Of course, your interns won't be responsible for creating new business policies but harnessing their voices can help improve existing strategies.
For example, as the workplace and business activity becomes more digital, the need for a workforce comfortable with various online tools has never been more critical. Involving your interns in your social media strategy, or seeking feedback for your current activity, can help you see where to improve.
In addition, when you have interns who have grown up around social media, and it is a feature of their daily life, it would be amiss to not engage with them and use what they know to benefit you.
The interns' unfamiliarity with your company structure can provide a fresh take on your business. Sometimes, it is difficult to see problems when you are in the middle of something. But, the fact interns are relatively new to the world of workplaces and business allows them to see issues that you have become accustomed to and challenge existing processes that may be malfunctioning.
Through this, it can help you to improve the work environment and add to the company culture. Their input can help energize your business with new ideas or ways to solve problems for customers and the industry alike.
When you can utilize your interns' voices through brainstorms or company meetings and encourage them to offer their views, you may learn something valuable.
When you offer forums for interns to provide their feedback and encourage them to do so, your company stands to benefit. A successful internship program can help create an organization and workplace environment that resonates with today's talent and increases candidates' desire to become a part of your culture.
Interns support your workforce to maximize productivity
Businesses want hard workers. They need individuals who can follow instructions and help the company run smoothly and efficiently. Interns can do that and are a low-cost option whose energy, eagerness to learn, and broad skill sets can be highly beneficial.
Assigning interns lower-level tasks or adding them to current projects can help free up your more experienced colleagues to concentrate on core business activities. So your employees are less stretched and have more time to deliver a higher quality of work.
Instead, when you transfer work to interns, the extra pairs of hands can help accomplish goals and complete projects faster and improve your organization's productivity. Additionally, it offers interns a great learning experience.
An internship program could be the solution to maximize your business's productivity. Interns are motivated by the possibility of full-time employment to deliver high work standards and know that every day brings the opportunity to learn something new that could benefit their career or improve them as workers.
When you have individuals hungry to learn and who have the skills you need, it improves your company's capabilities to grow in new, exciting directions.
Improve your employee's leadership qualities
When you hire interns, it may be the first experience in a work environment for many. To ensure that their internship is a success, assigning buddies or mentors can help guide and educate interns on the rhythms of your organization.
Doing so can help your interns find their feet swiftly and are an opportunity to improve the leadership skills of your workforce. An important aspect of workforce planning is creating a pipeline of future leaders. When looking to develop your business's future managers or directors, a significant first step is to give individuals the responsibility of supporting interns with their work; which they can do by:
- Welcoming the intern on their first day.
- Getting in contact before they commence their internship to provide information about what they can expect.
- Being available to answer their questions.
- Staging regular meetings, check-ins, and social events to build the right connections.
- Ensuring that their experience of your organization is happy.
Selecting members of your workforce who you consider to have leadership potential to mentor and build connections with the interns helps your employees to hold themselves to a higher account. They must be leaders, no longer solely responsible for their work but for those around them, which will be a vital aspect of their job as they become more senior.
In addition, creating a mentorship scheme for your interns can help to improve your workplace and culture. By taking steps to make it more welcoming, the word will spread of how great a workplace you have, in turn boosting applications for your roles and internship programs. And so, the desire to work in such an environment can ensure you hire the best talent available.
Why creating an internship program is the right move for your business
There are many advantages to introducing an internship program into an organization. These include:
- Improving your employee's leadership capabilities and creating the next generation of managers and leaders.
- Interns' enthusiasm can support the functioning of your daily business activity and raise productivity.
- The introduction of diverse and youthful voices can help your business evolve and offer fresh perspectives on how to improve your processes.
- Internships can help to expand your employee candidate pool. It is an excellent opportunity to identify great talent, build connections, and eventually hire the right people. It could be the solution to your hiring needs in a competitive labor landscape.
Internships are a fantastic opportunity to learn. For those taking the first steps in their career and for businesses, the more resources you are willing to put into your internship program, the better ít will be. So, you can build a stronger and more competitive applicant pool and hire the best interns around.