Summer Internships are Here and Hotter than Ever!

5 Jun, 2011  |  Written by  |  under internship update, Small Business, Tips

 

Have you ever considered an internship program for your small business and you are unsure on how to get an intern? Well, it is summer time and it is perfect weather for some interns!

As you know, each day businesses are growing and expanding at exponential rates thanks to the help of their employees and interns. Studies have shown that student and adult internships are on the rise. You can reach these goals as well with a few steps along the way.

Foundation of the Internship Program
As a small business owner, you have found an economic niche and you have defined a company focal point for achieving business goals. This same research goes into the internship process. If you are new to the internship world, then I would suggest reviewing how to get interns and how to hire interns. These articles discuss proven steps on how to develop, structure a legally sound internship program.

Purpose of the Internship Program
After reviewing the articles, ask yourself, why am I looking for interns? What will these interns assist with? What is the long term goal of the internship program?

It is important to think about these questions and to define the purpose of your program. This structure will help maintain consistency and time management for the interns. With a clearly defined plan and starting point, it also makes the process easier each time a new intern is hired.

The purpose will also help whilst you are seeking interns for the program. It makes the program attractive. With social networks and marketing programs such as Facebook fan pages and Linkedin Groups, a company’s attractive page and commentary will go a long way in finding the top talent.

As a small business owner, marketing your business should be second nature and the internship program needs to be treated very similarly.  A sound and strong business plan will give more credibility to the internship program. Without much focus on this business plan or overall idea, it is much harder to pull others on board.

Set a Social Marketing Plan
Before reaching out to develop your virtual internship program, review this internship article.

As you know, we live in the fast lane these days with status updates and e-mail exchanges. It is very fast-paced but it also can be quite detrimental.

With the vast and free social media tools at your fingertips, it is very important to remember that a first impression goes a long way.  Before contacting potential interns, make sure the online brand that you have created is clear, concise and available. If you have a Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter pages, make sure that these accounts are up-to-date, spellchecked, and filled with links and groups.

Remember it is all about credibility and availability.

Define Audiences
Once you have your social media plan in place. Then you would need to define the audiences. Interns have many shapes and sizes. Long gone are the days where interns are collegiate students seeking a summer position. Adult internships are on the rise and have been hotter than ever especially given the recession!

Virtual internships are also on the rise, these are perfect for students who cannot find opportunities in their local area; individuals who are looking to switch careers and more importantly, excellent chances for small-businesses to interact with individuals from all over the world. Now, talk about that for expanding your horizons!

Hiring Structure
With an internship program comes a hiring structure for that program. This should be very simple. Like an e-mail.

As an experienced recruiter, the interview process begins with the initial contact with a potential intern. Keep this in mind as you are finding interns for your opportunity.

Define the personality traits and qualities you want in a fellow employee. Things like attitude, communication, and enthusiasm will go a long way for a small-business.

Reach out
Communicate utilizing current social media tools. Whether it is through Linkedin Discussions, Facebook status updates, or e-mail exchanges, finding your next intern will occur through a social network. The more available you are on these networks, the more likely you will find the top quality talent.

Once you have your viable candidates, reach out to them for a simple phone conversation and get them on-board!

Follow-Through
Even if your new intern is virtual there are effective ways to manage them. We go into depth to discuss some solid online management tips here.

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