One of the most obvious cases for initiating an internship program is to find great talent to test drive before offering full-time positions. Even if you don’t have full-time positions to offer, internship programs have plenty of other benefits beyond simply the recruitment of vetted talent.
Here are three key qualitative benefits that make internship programs valuable at companies: (1) interns can boost creativity at your company; (2) internship programs give back to the community; and (3) internship programs can improve company morale and engagement.
1. Boost Creativity
Young interns are known for bringing a fresh perspective and new energy to the workforce. With an internship being their first exposure to the workforce, they are eager to apply their knowledge and learn more. Morris Tabush, President and Founder of Tabush Group, states “our interns have solved problems we didn't even know existed; asked questions about our services, processes and clients which were very thought-provoking; and helped us improve parts of our business.” Similarly, interns enjoy letting their creative juices flow. The National Law Enforcement Museum’s Museum Education Intern Kristin Herlihy states that “ being able to use her creativity has been the best part of the job.”
2. Create Positive Social Impact
Internships are an avenue to support young students and mold the next generation of the workforce. As students take on major debt to prepare for their future careers, it is essential that they test drive what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Internships are a learning vehicle for students and contribute to their education and career growth. In this way, internships are a great way of giving back to community and empowering young leaders with real world learning opportunities. Creating this positive social impact also leads to good PR.
3. Encourage Employee Engagement
Finally, internship programs encourage employee engagement and can generate positivity in the workforce. Internships give employees the opportunity to learn how to manage individuals and serve as mentors. A recent case study in the Global Journal of Finance and Management clearly articulates how mentorship within companies has the power to boost productivity in the workforce and is instrumental in developing a positive workforce. This sentiment of internships contributing to a happy work culture is also shared by companies like Create Forward, which states that interns “have become an integral part of our community and continue to be long after they’ve completed their exit interview.”
By boosting creativity, generating positive social impact and encouraging employee engagement, internships can yield incredible results for company practices holistically. The next time you think about whether you should hire interns, consider the many positive outcomes that your program could have on the community and your company’s overall success. Internships are much more than a recruitment tool. “A common misconception is that organizations and individuals don’t have the time to run an internship program… What employers and managers need to realize is that they don’t have the time not to have interns” says Matthew Zinman, president of Z University.
By Ahva Sadeghi, Chief Executive Officer