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Hiring interns- Can be a successful recruitment strategy


As a HR, you must have received mails / calls from collages to take their students as interns. Taking interns can be a recruitment strategy and pay back, if implemented well. These interns are available for two months normally. They wanted to have exposure to industry. We normally take interns through references or do not pay attention to hiring process as we do while hiring an employee for organization. We should pay same attention while hiring interns. Interns selected through a hiring process will give expected return to company.

Every department need different skill set in intern and HR need to ensure that those skills are available in student before recommending him to department head for internship.

I have tried this strategy of hiring interns and really worked out well when you need entry level candidates for your organization.

You should know what is expected out of these interns

Before starting the hiring process, you should be clear what do you expect from these interns. Hiring manager should provide detail of work / project which intern need to accomplish during internship. We should also not over expect from interns and ensure that work assigned to them can be completed in their internship period. They are fresher hence need time to learn and do. There are many tasks in every department which are pending and not getting completed as current team is busy in operational or routine work. Intern can be very useful in completing such task.

While deciding assignment for intern, do not think of a task which is routine or related to day to day operation. Hiring manager should think of tasks which are one time and important for department.

For example,

In engineering department-if department head wish to conduct an audit of energy consumption and ways to reduce energy consumption.

In HR- if you wish to conduct any specific survey, HR Audit- Personnel File, JD creation etc.

In Sales department- if department head wish to collect data of potential clients or any survey

In Marketing department- if department head wish to know client satisfaction level, views on existing product or any recent launched product, possibility of selling other products to existing clients etc.

In admin department- if department head wish to explore possibility of other vendors who can serve company in lesser cost with same quality.

Make WIN-WIN for both interns and organization

I come to know about many organizations which take interns and ask them to do any work or give them survey which is of no use to organization. It is LOSS-LOSS to both. Interns do not learn anything as work done by them is just a formality and no one guides them properly as this activity is not important for organization. Organization also waste its resources like work station, computer, internet and other facilities provided to intern for internship period in such cases.

If you plan work assignment to intern well in advance then both intern and mentor will have interest in the task and both will get benefited out of it. If you feel that interns is not taking interest in internship and not completing assigned task on time then do not hesitate to terminate the internship if there is no improvement after counseling. Interns should be aware about this before taking on board.

Track their progress during internship

Merely assigning a work is not important but regular follow up, meeting, guidance on how to do the work is equally important. As interns are fresher and do not have prior experience in the domain hence they need hand holding initially. Mentor should understand this and should have patience to teach them and get its work done.

It is better to record their daily activities and discussion with them on work done especially when you have more than one intern in your department. This will help them to be focused on the task assigned rather than gossips.

Best strategy to take employees on entry level

Interns can be a best strategy if you keep looking for fresher for entry level positions in various departments. There are some collages which give NOC to interns to work with company if company wish to take them on rolls. If not, then you can keep a record of such interns along with work done by them and their performance during internship. You can approach them when they finish their education to fill entry level positions.

Do share your feedback and suggestion by commenting.

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