Ben Rosen, Inspiring Interns
Difficult times call for fresh, innovative approaches to business. This doesn't just mean cost-cutting and boot-strapping, it means looking at areas where traditional systems can be improved or re-worked. One sphere that is currently the subject of an overhaul is recruitment, particularly of graduates.
With traditional grad schemes among the big boys having been slashed, and record numbers of well-qualified young people out of work, SMEs have a fantastic opportunity to access hungry, youthful staff. What's the best way to do this? Many people now seem to think it is offering internships. Here we outline the top five reasons that internships can give your business a major boost:
1) Unlike hiring a candidate with a few years of experience, taking a student or graduate on a placement does not commit your business to a draining annual salary. Most internships last three to six months and are usually done for minimal remuneration. If both parties have found the arrangement beneficial the company and candidate may choose to extend the placement beyond the initial period. The employer may then be in a position to offer a full-time role.
2) Should the intern go permanent their host company will also have succeeded in circumnavigating one of the major obstacles facing SMEs looking for graduate talent: the black-hole that is the recruitment arm of the big boys of the business world. Even with job offers down, Accenture, Deloitte and the like have such a ubiquitous presence on the campuses of all the major universities that many students fail to look beyond the generic programmes being shoved in their faces.
3) Employers get to ‘test-drive' graduates. Even after a rigorous interview process there is still a significant risk associated with hiring younger candidates, and most smaller businesses cannot afford to take that gamble. Internships separate the wheat from the chaff, negating the risk associated with inexperience and ensuring that your business is not left with someone who is all talk and no action.
4) What students and graduates lack in experience, they more than make up for in enthusiasm and willingness to learn. What would you give to have a staff member genuinely excited at the prospect of just being involved with the every day running of a business? This fresh approach to work can have numerous benefits. A pair of eyes unaccustomed to accepted business practice often brings new perspectives to your working methods. Interns are also very savvy employees, comfortable with web 2.0 and social media, unafraid of incorporating new technology into their daily routines. Moreover an intern is something of a blank canvas in terms of working practice: yet to form bad habits and ready to be moulded in your own image. Well...they won't have bad habits.
difficult economic conditions, companies must always be ready to expand
and not stagnate. Getting an extra staff member on board can be crucial
to meeting any increase in demand for your product or service,
particularly as the economy begins to grow. It is essential that you
are well-placed to take advantage of any upturn.
Traditionally internships have been the reserve of our cousins across the Atlantic, with British students only having come into contact with the professional world through brief periods of work experience or job shadowing. However, as the economy has changed businesses have been forced to adapt, and the introduction of an intern culture may be one of the better legacies of the downturn.
Taking some extra time and care over hiring a graduate can also have major benefits in the long-run: these recruits should not be seen as quick solutions to a staffing problem, but the potential future of your firm. Pick the right employee now, and you could be rewarded with a loyal worker who grows with your business.
Finally let us not forget the candidate
themselves. Employers occasionally ask what graduates and students get
from working at low cost for a period of months. What interns miss out
on by way of short-term financial reward they more than compensate for
with priceless experience that helps them stand out in a crowded
market, and a far greater chance of securing the meaningful full-time
employment they crave.
For more information please visit www.inspiringinterns.com
Post Date: March 4th, 2010