Growing your business efficiently involves tapping into valuable resources, and one often overlooked but highly effective resource is the strategic use of interns. Many agencies, regardless of their size, face challenges in finding and screening job candidates with strong potential. However, hiring interns can help your agency thrive.
Building a Successful Internship Program: Key Steps to Consider
Determine Your Needs: The first crucial step in establishing an internship program is to assess your agency's specific needs. Identifying what your agency wants to gain from interns will shape the type of program that suits you best. For instance, if your goal is to cultivate a pool of potential permanent candidates and you have the capacity to provide adequate mentoring, a well-structured college or university-based internship program might be ideal. On the other hand, if you require temporary help for project-oriented tasks or have limited management bandwidth, a college placement service or informal academic department relationship may suffice.
Decide on Compensation: Internships come in various forms, including those tied to academic curricula, individual learning plans, or students seeking career exploration opportunities. While internships can be paid or unpaid, offering compensation, especially for non-credit internships, tends to attract a higher-quality candidate pool and enhances their dedication to the experience.
Consider Legal Implications: It’s important to ensure that your intern is covered by workers' compensation, even if they are unpaid, as this protects both parties. Compliance with employment practice laws and liability issues is also essential. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission standards typically apply to interns, just as they do to full-time employees.
Spread the Word: Craft a comprehensive job description that outlines job duties, desired qualifications, application procedures, pay (if applicable), internship duration, and citizenship requirements. Explore different academic degrees to find qualified candidates, which can include business, management, marketing, accounting, finance, public relations, computer science, and communications. Reach out to educational institutions in your area to inquire about internship programs, ranging from placement services to more structured initiatives.
Create a Structured Internship: To maximize the benefits of the internship for both your agency and the intern, assign a mentor, preferably a management-level professional, who can dedicate time to guide and teach. Conduct a thorough orientation at the beginning of the internship and follow up with periodic evaluations to facilitate continuous improvement.
Building a Talent Pipeline for Long-Term Agency Growth
By following these steps and leveraging the potential of interns, your agency can not only address recruitment challenges but also create a pipeline of talent that can contribute to your long-term growth and success.
AAI gives new and existing agents the tools, training, and technology to grow their agencies bigger, faster, more efficiently. To learn more about the benefits of joining AAI, contact us today!