Companies at every scale need to have the capability of effectively managing interns in a way that drives more value than investment. We analyzed over 100 companies that use interns, 63% of which indicated to us that they spend too much time managing interns or too much time during the training process. While this may be advantageous for large companies seeking to transition their temporary staff into full time employees, smaller companies seeking efficiency should focus on driving their investment down to the minimum amount needed to create the value they seek.
We have identified three parts of the intern process the break it down as it applied to successfully operating a company. The first phase that we will analyze is sourcing, which will deliver insights into the most cost effective way to source the ‘best’ candidates. Second, we analyze the training and follow-up with ongoing management. Please remember that every company is unique in its operations, so our proposed process must be uniquely adapted to your company.
The first question that your company must determine is the location and background of interns. If you are capable of hosting remote workers, such as a technical team, then intern sourcing websites may be the most cost effective option. Many of the websites are entirely free to post and review interns. The sites provide nationwide exposure, but may result in a large number of underqualified candidates given the ability of anyone to post a job. If your company is seeking a more local candidate from a top regional university, university job boards, like this one for the University of Denver can be an effective option. Most university job boards do not charge any fees, so it is a simple way to collect applications from a very specific university.
Many of the companies that we surveyed (38%), had no designated training program in place for interns. This may mean that the training will take longer and be less consistent than a well-organized program. A process that is refined over time is also capable of better measuring the performance of interns compared to a less organized method, given that a performance benchmark can be established. Popular websites like Udemy, or other vocational training websites, provide an effective option to outsource and rapidly streamline the training process.
Investments in interns are typically divided amongst two activities, training and management. If proper investments are made in training, then the management is less burdensome. Overall, 80% of the companies that had an effective training program did not experience barriers managing their performance. The management of interns depends on their specific function within an organization. Inters that are purely hired for efficiency should have a management structure that is highly automated and streamlined. Companies that are seeking to train the future leaders of their organization should consider investing into the management, such as a structured rotational program.
Pro Business Plans has worked with a large number of companies to create custom business plans for investment and strategy. We have helped thousands of companies to develop effective internship programs and fuse them into the business plan and overall company strategy. We work one on one with start-ups and leading companies to outline a plan and help them to achieve it.