Traditionally when most of us think about recruiting new employees we only really consider two options. We either engage a recruitment specialist to do this on our behalf, or we try to do it all ourselves. Whilst you can have a great outcome with either of these approaches, they have the disadvantage of being either very expensive and/or time consuming.
Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how thorough you are with your recruitment process or who finds the suitable candidate there is always a chance that they do not end up being the right fit for your organisation.
I am a strong believer that if you hire someone with the right attitude, you can always teach the skills required, which is why I am such a huge fan of hiring interns. Since starting our business in 2009 we have had 11 interns from various organisations and universities. Some of our interns completed their placements whilst they completed their tertiary study. Others had completed their studies and wanted to gain work experience. All of our interns completed a three month internship and over 85% of them continued to work with us on either a part time or full time basis as employees following the completion of their internship.
What I love about interns is they are so keen to learn and be part of something that adds value to your organisation. They have a fantastic growth rather than fixed mindset. They are enthusiastic and bring a fresh approach to how you think and all of our interns have been incredibly tech savvy. What I find most refreshing about interns is that they haven’t had the culture of other organisations and/or industries ingrained within them. Nothing is too much trouble, they will have a go and you know they are there for the right reasons. Sure, they make mistakes, and everyone learns from them; but you are not going to put them on projects or with clients where you could compromise the outcome or your organisations reputation.
We have always had specific projects for our interns to undertake within their placement. This has been anything from setting up our BRS blog, assisting with our book keeping or helping us set up and automate our easyconsult coaching program. We have always been clear on expectations, treated them like employees and respected and valued their contribution. Some of the most outstanding employees I have ever had the opportunity to work with have started out as interns!
Hiring an intern within your organisation really is a win-win for both parties. From an organisation’s perspective you can have someone work with you who has the appropriate skills to complete a specific project. It is also of benefit to the intern, as they are able to take the knowledge and experience they have gained and either make themselves so invaluable that you will want to hire them permanently, or they use the experience to guide their decision making around what career path they will take.
So if you are looking for an alternative to the more traditional approach to recruitment, why not contact your local universities or google intern placements and see who you can find. The opportunity to mould from the start, tap in to their energy and hunger will be something that allows your organisation to leverage a skill set that is significantly underutilised.