Internship is a topic-du-jour in the tech industry and beyond with leaders like Google and Facebook boasting robust internship programs that attract tens of thousands of applicants every year. Even Hollywood is in on the trend with films like The Intern featuring Robert DeNiro and The Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson at the box office over the past few years.
It’s undeniable that companies’ ability to harness the energy and optimism of the youngest segment of the workforce has got our attention in a big way. That said, it’s important that organizations are clear about the situations in which they should be considering an intern (or not).
Here are the 6 signs that indicate it's time to consider hiring an intern for your organization:
1. When Your Team Is Stuck On The Same Ideas
If you’re stuck in a pattern of doing the things that you’ve always done, it can be tough to break through with new ideas or solutions. After all, our brains revert to the programming that we’ve built over years of experience.
Many companies report that hiring interns can help generate creative progress by providing a fresh perspective. In fact, Google is known for empowering interns to solve real problems:
"I was the one who was driving a lot of the decisions we were making, I ended up making the page for signed-out search, which was the first experience anyone got in the new Google+ search. So basically I owned this page that tons of people were going to land on when Search was actually launched." –Kitt Vanderwater, former Google Intern
2. When You Have Internal Resistance To Adopting New Technologies
Getting your team to adopt new technologies can be challenging. People are wired to minimize stress and try their best to stick to routine. That said, businesses who fail to evolve and keep up with technological trends will not survive in today’s market.
In 2017, interns are of a generation that has spent their lives adapting to new technologies. Where this may be a source of stress for some employees, interns often find technology adoption easy and even enjoyable.
3. When A Current Employee Is Ready For More Responsibility
Are your current employees looking for more responsibility within your organization? Bringing on interns for them to mentor provides an opportunity to show them that they’re ready for the next step.
Facebook is very transparent about the benefits of their internship program in training managers. This outlook creates even more benefit for the organization, essentially doubling down on the potential upside of the internship program.
According to Jillian D'Onfro from Business Insider: “Every intern gets assigned a full-time employee to be their point-person to work with one-on-one to craft, execute, and evaluate their specific project. Any employee can volunteer to step into that role with an intern.”
4. When Your Team Needs More Energy
If your team is caught in an energy dip, this can result in a lack of creativity and an inability to innovate. That said, many companies report an unexpected side-effect of engaging interns as an increase in energy within.
“Interns haven’t been through years of grind that the rest of the team have been through, so they’re fresh,” says LaunchPad CEO Asim Qureshi. “To win respect, an intern needs to bring an energy level and enthusiasm that lifts the entire office. Interns rarely have skills to offer—a great attitude and vibe is what they can bring to the table.”
5. When You’re Ready To Grow
Perspective can mean the difference between growth and decline and when it comes to considering what’s possible, the more optimistic the organization, the greater chance that they will outgrow their competitors. Interns generally do not think with the limits that shape the perspective of more tenured team members.
"In our experience, the college kids (and even some high school kids) are not anchored to 'normal' ranges so they can often bend what we think of as possible. Our experiences with this are too numerous to mention. Younger people don't yet have the limits that they eventually benchmark themselves to because they simply don't know what they are not capable of. On this note, it’s important to give interns meaningful work or even "big idea" projects. Many companies make the mistake of giving interns only rote activities, where the kids are doing boring, administrative, task-based work.” -Brian Hamilton, Co-Founder, Sageworks
6. When You’re Looking To Build Out A Talent Pipeline
If you’re aware that your talent needs are going to grow over the next few years, you will need to consider where you’re going to source that talent from. Setting up an internship program allows you to create a relationship with colleges and universities that are seeking opportunities for new graduates.
From "5 Reasons To Build Your Talent Pipeline With Interns": “DSW, Inc. does this really well. They empower their interns to take charge of their own journey with the company. This allows them to have a unique and fulfilling experience and prompts them to apply for the internship again next year, seek out a full time role, or tell friends to apply for the opportunity. Through this type of organic marketing, you will be able to create a pool of talent interested in working your company.”
If any of these scenarios sound familiar, perhaps it’s time that you consider an intern for your organization. Venn Innovation is proud to be launching our Export Internship Program that offers financial support to NB companies who are looking to hire a new graduate. For more information, click here.