I've been an intern, had interns and will always be an advocate for interns. Hiring interns to your company is a mutually beneficial relationship. They need the experience and you need the help - easy math.
Interns are extremely eager to get started and gain experience. They understand it is an extremely competitive job market and the more internships they have the more value they will bring to a potential employer. But have you thought about the benefits that an intern provides to your company?
Here's why I love interns:
Outsider's Viewpoint. They do not know how it has "always been done." Interns can bring a new and fresh perspective to the scene. Interns want to have an impact during their internship. The best thing a company can do is capitalize on their new ideas and at least listen to them. You do not have to implement everything but just keep an open mind.
Tech Savvy - You knew that one was coming! From Social Media to great Website finds, Interns have so many tech secrets even for a young professional like myself.
Look at the Bigger Picture. Picture this: an intern starts at your company, they are blowing you away with their work ethic, personality, enthusiasm for the business, and they are an amazing fit to your team. You are NOT going to let that intern go to another company after graduation! An intern that transitions to a full-time employee will only make your on boarding process easier. They already have a head start that other new hires - they know the company, where the coffee pot is and what the overall goal of the organization is.
Eager to Help. Give them meaningful work that will help grow your business. Don't get me wrong, they can still do some of the data entry "housekeeping" tasks, but make sure there is some substance to their internship. An internship program needs to have a goal for them to aspire to. Enough with the coffee runs!
Biggest Cheerleader. For many interns this may be their first or second time experiencing the corporate world. Hopefully they had a great internship that consisted of hands-on learning, networking and genuinely enjoyed what they were doing. If you run an impressive internship program, the interns will most likely talk about their experience to their friends and family - free PR!
Interns are an amazing addition to a company that is growing and needs additional hands-on-deck.