Every business has a different recipe for success. Much of it boils down to management and strategizing. However, strength and growth often stem from the employees who make everything possible. While regular employees are a staple in every company story, there is an often overlooked part of the workforce.
We’re talking about internships. Most companies, big or small, have internship programs. These programs offer a valuable learning experience for interns, allowing them to gain new skills and get a better look at the playing field where they will work once they graduate university. But internships are not confined to students. In fact, they’re just as relevant no matter which stage of life we are in.
More importantly, the benefits go both ways. Businesses and interns can find a wealth of opportunities for growth from the arrangement. For companies, it’s a way to leverage resources and maximize profits.
The Value of Internships
In the US, some companies offer more than 1000 internships every year. That number just goes to prove how valuable internships are to a company’s growth. Some internships are voluntary, while others are paid. Many of these internship opportunities are for short periods of time, but there are others that take longer and often lead to permanent position.
Just how beneficial is an internship program to your company? What makes it a quintessential ingredient in the growth of your business?
Let’s find out.
Interns Bring in Enthusiasm and Energy
An engaged workforce is more productive. However, it cannot be denied that some employees can get into a rut, especially when we consider how repetitive some job roles could be. This is where the energy and enthusiasm of interns come into play. They are often eager to learn and prove themselves capable of accomplishing tasks.
And that’s not all:
Their eagerness can rub off on regular employees, too.
Interns can enrich company culture by offering something fresh. Often, they are eager to explore new possibilities. For one, their fresh ideas, untainted by real-world obstacles, can help a project take off smoothly. This is especially helpful to startups that cater to a Millennial audience. College interns can see a planned product from the perspective of the target market, infusing fresh insights that would otherwise require expensive research.
That’s why some companies choose to delegate the less technical aspect of work to interns such as data gathering, allowing them to use their creativity in collecting and analyzing data through their own refreshing viewpoint.
Internship Programs Are Cost-Effective
Since most internship programs are built in a way that benefits both parties, it’s not difficult to find interns who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get work done at a minimal cost. In return, they get to learn valuable knowledge and skills, coupled with a learning experience that would prove advantageous when it’s time for them to apply for a full-time job.
After all, an internship is one of the biggest criteria when it comes to the hiring process. Moreover, hiring interns often does away with the additional overhead cost that is all too common when hiring an experienced employee. For startups working on a tight budget, interns are a heaven-sent.
Internships Can Lead to Great Future Employees
Perhaps the most important benefit of internship programs is the chance for you to discover valuable employees who could become a part of your workforce in the near future.
Think of it this way:
You don’t only get to attract full-time candidates. You will also be able to hire full-time employees who are already familiar with your company and have learned the ropes when they joined your internship program. Interns who excelled during their short stint in your company are the best candidates for a full-time position. You can consider their internship as a trial period. Over its course, they have already learned the essential skills, so you would need less time and effort in training them if they join your company.
Interns Can Help Boost Your Productivity
Traditional internship programs only made use of college students for errands and menial tasks.
The good thing is:
That’s not the case anymore. More and more companies designate essential tasks to interns, including data analysis, logistics, and even brainstorming. They are just as capable as full-time employees in contributing to the team they’re in, lessening the pile of work for regular staff who can devote more time to developing and planning strategies and tasks that often involve high-level proficiency.
Get Insights into the Newest Technology
Universities make it a point to evolve with the latest technology trends. So, bringing interns on board can give you valuable insights into the latest techniques and strategies involving modern tools that you would otherwise have to spend time and resources into learning and training for. Case in point – the ever-changing landscape of social media. Younger people are more savvy when it comes to social platforms, so they are vital in helping you shape your own marketing strategies.
Hone Your Full-Time Employees’ Leadership Skills
If you have candidates for promotions, the best way to gauge their capabilities is by giving them a chance at leading and supervising. What better way to foster these skills than by delegating the supervision of interns into their capable hands? Interns are easier to handle compared to experienced employees who could be a handful. This will help train their skills and prepare them for management positions.
Internship programs these days put emphasis on laying out a foundation for future recruitment. As the workforce ages, it’s important to bring in fresh and brilliant young minds into the playing field.
The competition for experienced employees can be quite fierce, too, so establishing a great internship program can help develop young people into capable future employees. With this in mind, they will more likely come to you after graduation and elect to apply for full-time positions. This can be your edge against your competitors who might have to shell out more to get competent new hires.
Their contributions to the growth of your business are priceless, from cutting down costs to increasing productivity.
By Kristina Laova.
When I’m not writing at my desk, I’m devoted to ESL teaching and doing certified court translation. A vivid writer, a keen traveler and an adventurous soul as curious as humanity.
The world is my oyster.