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How to Run a Successful Internship Program

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In a business environment, organizations are always on the lookout for fresh talent and skills. From hiring freshers to taking interns for initial training and exposure, every functional organization runs its internship program from time to time. HR management is an important cog of the business ecosystem, and internship programs are crucial for HR management. If done properly, an internship program can create a mine of the resourceful workforce for a company. All successful companies look at internship programs as a mutually beneficial mechanism that works for the company. 

Most HR managers launch internship programs to scout for promising talents early. In today’s world, when job roles have become very demanding, students want to learn and gain experience before fully stepping into the corporate world that allows business organizations to utilize and hone young talent. However, with this, the HR department and other departments have the responsibility of managing the interns well. 

Plan and create your first internship program 

Are you an HR manager or director who wants to start an internship program for his company but does not know the finer details? In this blog, we will discuss the necessities of starting an internship program for your company. Creating an internship program may look challenging as an extra task initially, but if you have got the basics right, it will be profitable in the long run. 

Understand your target audience and their needs

As we have discussed before, an internship program is mutually beneficial for your company and the interns. Thus, before initiating an internship program, always scope out information about the talent you want aboard. Understand what an internship is and how it fits into the definition and image of your company. Apart from this, always try to understand the youngsters you want to hire as interns. Understand what they need and want at a future workplace. Comprehend their career ambitions and projections. This will help your organization offer a lucrative internship program that they would want to be a part of. 

Analyze your organization’s abilities

An internship is like a relationship between your company and your interns. Thus, just like the prospective intern group, you need to evaluate your business too. The interns that your HR managers hire depend on your organization’s needs and resources. Gauge the resources your organization has to know how far you can afford interns. Of course, many people will go for unpaid internships. However, paid internships are way better because they give your company a level of credibility. Thus, you have to take note of the resources at hand. This will help you know how many interns you can hire. Also, note your company ethics and necessities to know what type of people you want to take on as interns. Analyzing your company’s purpose behind the internship program gives a clearer vision to the HR management. 

Plan and design the entire program

Once you are clear about what your company expects from the interns and what the interns want from the program, you have a solid scaffold of design to start with. After that, HR managers should get into finer details and plan out the entire program. From the duration of the program to the roles and responsibilities of the interns, your planning should cover everything. A great internship program comes with good planning and design. You need to assign mentors to the interns during the program too. Always plan so that you build a team of intern trainers and mentors. This should happen before the program launch to promote coordination inside the program. From day off dates to work dates, you should have everything charted out. 

Understand the legalities

Every business relationship involves legalities. Before starting an internship program and kicking off a new business relationship, always seek legal counsel and establish a legal framework. You should be clear about the policies and workplace rules that govern hiring an intern for your office. It would help if you had a healthy workplace environment, a good day off schedule, proper work timings, and safety policies in place. The interns that work with you later go out in the world as professionals. Make sure that there will be no legal conflicts with your interns during the program. Always ensure that you utilize your intern’s talents, not exploit his capabilities to make up for paid work. 

Post the internship offer

Once you know your organization’s capabilities in hosting interns on-premises, you can post the internship offers on recruiting websites and apps. You can also try to post these offers in print media. Ensure that there is a wide circulation of the advertisements. The widespread circulation of the offers will increase its exposure and expand your available workforce base. Of course, you might take a little longer than usual to hire an intern with a lengthy shortlisting process. However, widespread advertisement is a kind of marketing for your company. Moreover, some students may decide to apply next year for the program. This means the prolonged success of the program as well as your company. 

Stay transparent during follow-up, and payments

A sign of a good company and a committed organization is clear communication. When you start getting applications for an internship, always try to communicate clearly with the candidates. When you have hired the interns, always be prompt about payments and other bonuses. The interns should experience a smooth and organized work process with the company. Even when the interns leave the company, the after phase of the program should also be smooth and transparent. This ensures good communication between you and your interns. Good communication makes interns feel like they can come back for a full-time job at your company. 

Whenever your company launches an internship program, you should look at the program as a multi-benefit one. The interns walk away with work experience from the program. On the other hand, your company can walk away with increased brand value, expanded human resource reserves, and more popularity than before. Therefore, an internship program needs to be planned out and executed properly.