Can an internship program help your company?
Lense and Co begins preparing at the beginning of Spring for its Summer Intern program. It requires a bit more work than the rest of the year because so much is packed into 4-6 weeks. We have to stay organized in order to achieve success.
I did some research on internships and how they can help or hinder small businesses. I know that my company has benefited greatly from working with high school and college age young people. It is a lot of work; definitely not simply a free employee replacement option.
Free or Paid
I’ve read in several major news outlets that the average wage for interns is around $15 per hour. For solopreneurs and small businesses with under 5 employees that salary can sometimes be unrealistic. I don’t know about you but I have met too many business owners that use internship the wrong way. Especially when it comes to unpaid interns.
Below are a few rules that could save you heartache and major hits to your finances and reputation when it comes to unpaid internship opportunities.
Unpaid Interns Cannot:
Do any work that contributes to a company’s operations
- This includes any tasks that help you run your business, like documenting inventory, filing papers, answering emails, etc.
Perform duties that have a business need
- Unpaid interns can shadow other employees. Interns can perform training exercises that do not benefit the company financially.
For more information, read articles on the SBA site HERE
Benefits All Involved
We enjoy hosting interns because it benefits both sides. We aim to help open our interns up to new options for their academic and professional paths. We believe in education in all different of forms. It is the heart of our business model for clients. Our interns gain training that is directly related to their interests and current academic focus.
- New pool of talent for hire
- Access to fresh perspectives
- New mentors
- Explore new skill sets
CNN’s article on the importance of Internships HERE
Interns are not for every company
While hosting interns both paid and unpaid seems to be working great for Lense and Co, it is not for everybody. It is important to think long and hard before launching an internship program at your company. It can be a time-consuming process and we know time = money.
A few things to consider:
- Are your managers mentor material
- Do you really just need a part-time employee
- Would you ever consider hiring an intern into a full-time position
Remember there are companies who take their internship program very seriously and are ultra competitive. This means that you could turn up 0 leads if you don’t offer a well thought out and beneficial intern program.
CNN’s article on Think Again HERE
Thank you for reading this Lense and Co blog.
This blog was written by Amber Childress, Online Marketing Strategist and owner of Lense and Co, a social media marketing company built for small businesses. We encourage you to share and comment.
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