Looking to hire a student or a graduate? 4 Tips on how to Manage them
Hiring a student or a graduate can be a highly valuable experience for both you, your company and your intern.
Internships and graduate scheme have become hugely popular in many industries in recent years for a variety of reasons – increase in university graduates and industry competitiveness, small businesses are financially unable to take on new employees, increase in start-ups/entrepreneurial ventures with little room for increase in company growth, international market competitiveness, structural changes to university courses – are just to name a few.
Hosting an intern/graduate (or multiple interns/graduates!) can be highly beneficial for your business. Not only do they cost very little, but placing interns or graduates within your company gives you the advantage of “shopping the market” (so-to-speak) for the best graduates or fresh industry talent. Paid employment often does result from internships – because employers are highly impressed with their intern’s capabilities and do not want to let them go.
Interns/students/ provide fresh insight and knowledge – after all, they are next in line to rule the industry.
Hiring an intern/graduate does require something from you though – your time. You will need to create a role for them and provide them with meaningful work. You will also need to personally meet with them regularly so you can both update each other and communicate any issues.
>> Read our article about how to hire the right Intern or graduate for your company
Here are some of our 4 tips for hiring your intern or graduate and how to manager them -
1 - Set one overall project
But break it down into smaller goals, deadlines, or tasks – i.e. they submit something to you weekly or fortnightly. Having one overall goal gives an intern/graduate something to work towards, but setting smaller tasks along the way gives them a sense of achievement and motivation as they work towards their main goal.
Setting smaller tasks and deadlines also allows you to provide them with regular feedback, which is beneficial for the both of you.
2 - Meaningful content
Ensure the work you provide the intern/graduate is meaningful and relates to the company/industry in some way. An internship/graduate job is supposed to be a learning experience, after all. Interns/graduates will be much happier in roles where they feel they have a purpose or are contributing to the company in some way.
3 - Meet regularly
Meet with your intern/graduate every week or every fortnight – for example, every Monday or Friday morning. Allow 30-60 minutes to go over the set task or project and allow your intern/graduate to ask any questions or voice any concerns they may have. You too are allowed to use this time to speak with them about any issues you might be having.
4 - They must have a direct supervisor
Ok, so you may not have the time to be able to handle your intern’s / graduate's hourly questions or queries – and they will have a lot of questions! No one expects the company CEO or Manager to spend all their day supervising an intern/graduate. We understand this.
So if you are lacking in time and can only take on a “mentor” role, ensure you assign somebody they can go to directly for every day questions and issues.
Whoever you assign must want to help and they must also have the time during work hours for the intern themselves. There is no point assigning your intern to somebody just as busy as yourself. What will result, is your intern will be bounced from person to person around the office – this is the fastest way to make someone feel dissatisfied in their role with your company.
>> Take some time to read a guide for employers by CIPD
Taking on an intern/graduate is a big decision and it does require some preparation on your behalf – but it is a decision you will never regret! Interns/graduates provide a fresh and fun energy to a workplace and since they are often recent graduates, they will be keen to work hard and prove their skills. And who knows, you might just stumble upon the next Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Elizabeth Holmes or Sheryl Sandberg!
>> Know more about the 12 Successful People Who Started As Interns
Internshipmapper is a career portal for students and graduates. We also provide range of graduate recruitment services to help sourcing candidates for internships or graduate jobs, and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse internships and graduate jobs, visit their website.