Human Resources

Five Ways an Internship Program Can Support Your Business

December 14, 2016

Five Ways an Internship Program Can Support Your Business

Internship programs serve as valuable, low-cost investments that increase workflow capacity and productivity, develop specialized employees, enhance perspectives and problem solving, and attract and retain top talent. Below are five ways an internship program can support your business.

A cost-effective solution

An internship program can be a cost-effective solution for your organization. During a time of growth, interns can benefit your organization financially by requiring a smaller salary than ideal full-time candidates. This enables you to continue moving initiatives forward without the financial commitment a full-time employee would require.

If you decide to hire an intern as a full-time employee, costs are reduced even further. In a survey conducted by the Employment Management Association and the Society for Human Resources, it can cost between $10,000 and $50,000 to recruit, hire, and onboard a new employee. Hiring an intern full time can help you avoid some of the costs associated with each step in the process. Savings can be seen in areas such as job listings (75%), referral bonuses (49%), and signing bonuses (37%), among others.

Easier to transition to a full-time employee

Internship programs can be integral in building a long-term pipeline of potential employees who are already vetted and well-versed in your operations and company culture. They serve as a trial period, giving both you and the intern the opportunity to gauge whether your values and goals align, and whether a compatible relationship can continue if they’re hired full time.

Internships make the transition to full time easier because the intern already knows your organization inside and out, and you’ve been able to evaluate their performance and compatibility with your culture. In fact, over 85% of interns at Indiana businesses accepted job offers from their host employers upon finishing.

A way to adapt to a changing market

Keen industry insight is essential for modifying objectives and managing the increase of work your business will generate during expansion or times of change. As technology continues to grow exponentially in its capabilities and permeate all aspects of business, your company’s ability to adapt and utilize new resources to create innovative solutions for your clients will be at the forefront of corporate competition. 

Since interns and the incoming generation of workers are especially adaptable to their environments, they can be instrumental in your company’s innovation process. From being in tune with the latest technology trends to having an open mind set on the world, they bring a unique perspective that can bring your organization into the future.

Unique needs are filled

College students and young professionals present a unique solution to businesses needing additional personnel or specialized staff. They bring specific characteristics to fill this need, including:

  • Many possess extensive technical knowledge of their fields and are prepared for the opportunity to utilize their skillsets in a workplace.
  • The limited time frame they operate within encourages them to convey their capabilities and provide value.
  • They are prone to show curiosity about every facet of a business and pursue extraordinary initiatives without the fear of failure.

These characteristics place interns above fully-employed employees in terms of the potential to innovate and revitalize your operations. In particular, younger interns are passionate about discovering their career paths and will work intently to improve their unique skills and industry knowledge in pursuit of them. Place interns in positions that provide meaningful work corresponding to their own goals, and they’ll be motivated to not only learn, but also become exceptionally proficient.

Develop your business

Whether directly or indirectly, interns develop your business, and they influence other employees to do it, too. Interns make up for their lack of experience with a strong work ethic and unique perspective on business. And it’s those qualities that can incite innovation and encourage the evaluation of company policies, practices, and goals.

In addition, an intern’s ability to learn quickly and their drive to deliver value can help increase your operational capabilities and provide greater bandwidth to other employees. Employees will gain more time to think critically, opening their minds to new ideas and projects that, when encouraged and supported, can grow to build upon the company’s success.

To sum it up, internships can be a valuable, low-cost investment for any organization. They encourage business growth and innovation, are a valuable recruiting tactic, fill unique needs, and support your bottom line.

How have internships helped your organization?