Our clients often get in touch when they’re thinking of taking on an intern. They want to know how best to manage the legalities, expectations, and naturally, how they can get the most out of their intern. We recently hired an intern of our own so we thought now would be a great time to share our advice and personal experience with you.

Here are a few questions we asked ourselves before deciding to go ahead with the internship.

Internships don’t have to be limited to work experience for students or graduates, it can also benefit people looking for a change of career.

When is the right time to take on an intern?

Business growth, team expansion, peak periods, project opportunities and commitment to building talent for future employment markets are all examples of when an intern can complement your people resourcing plan.
In our case, we recognised that Tassic had grown over the last 12 months. In order to continue improving our services, we needed to bring in talent to complement our existing team and focus on a few key areas.

Why hire an intern rather than a temporary employee?

Temporary roles tend to be used as a stepping-stone into permanent employment, so they potentially come with a different mindset. But the nature of an internship is to develop, learn and impress all that you can within a defined period of time. Although in our opinion, this should be the case for both!

In what ways can an intern benefit your business?

 Assist with workload to alleviate pressure points and progress initiatives

 Bring ideas and perspective

 Positively challenging team dynamics by encouraging new ways of thinking

 Promote our commitment to learning and knowledge sharing opportunities

Tips for new interns

 Observe and take from your experience learning that goes beyond the ‘technical’ part of the role

 Build portfolio of evidence based skills and knowledge you can use when writing your CV

 Develop your personal attributes, which will equip you to walk into future employment opportunities with confidence

 Take advantage of networking opportunities

 Keep an open mind – “the world is your oyster”

Advice for businesses to get the most from internships

 Have a clear purpose

 Invest time in defining the areas of work and tasks the intern can get involved with–particularly important for unpaid internships where the intern participates voluntarily

 If you have tangible outcomes you expect the intern to deliver, then this legally means they are a ‘worker’, so this should be a paid internship

 Treat interns as an integral member of your team from the outset

 When selecting an intern, try to avoid being influenced by qualifications, university or previous experience

 Instead, we believe you should look for a self-starter with a genuine interest and curiosity. They should also have a high level of energy, adaptability and social skills.

 Internships don’t have to be limited to work experience for students or graduates, it can also benefit people looking for a change of career: The rise of middle-age intern

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