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Tips for Hiring Summer Interns

Spring is in full bloom, which means Summer is not too far off (hooray!), and that means Intern Season is almost upon us. To help you make the most of your interns we reached out to our iRecruit customers for tips.

Get Ready to Hire Interns
In iRecruit set up a new application form just for your intern candidates so that you can ask specific questions relating to the internship.
Set up your new intern job listing in iRecruit. Be as specific as possible in your job description. What department will the intern be in? What can they expect to be doing for you? What type of skills do they need to have? Is the internship paid or unpaid? What are the expected hours? And how long is the duration of the internship?
Set up two template emails – one for interns who are not selected, and one for interns not selected after interview.
Interviewing Interns
H2M’s Gina Iacobacci shares some tips on interviewing interns:
  • Ask the same questions for all interviews.  This is great for comparison in order to see which candidate is the right fit for your company as well as to use as guidance for the hiring managers when they are making their decision.
  • Make the candidate feel comfortable!  Make some friendly conversation before jumping into the questions you are going to ask.  I cannot stress this enough.  For most candidates coming in for an interview, it may be their first professional interview relating to their desired career.  They are going to be nervous!  Make them feel at home.  If you do that, they are sure to open up and you will be able to get all the information you need in order to properly assess them for the role.
  • Find out what their future goals are in order to see if these will be in line with what your company is looking for and supports.
  • Briefly share some of the benefits that full time employees receive.  They may not be eligible to receive them, but it is good to let them know how much you do value your employees.
  • Some candidates may not have any internship experience.  If not, be prepared to relate any behavioral type questions related to a group project they have done in school or at another job they may have had in the past in order to get the information you will need.
  • Share Successes. If you have any success stories about past interns, make sure to share them!  For instance, at H2M, our current CEO who stepped up this year interned here about 25 years ago.  I love to tell any intern that story because it really showcases that we are an organization that strongly believes in professional development.
  • Be honest about where you are in the decision making process, let them know where they stand, and let them know when they can expect to hear from you regarding a decision.
  • Leave the door wide open for questioning.  They need to feel like they can come to you whenever they need assistance.  Make sure to let them know that they can follow up with any questions they may have.
 Some things to keep in mind:
  1. Interns are not just free labor.
  2. Set goals and expectations of behavior, dress code, hours etc.
  3. Don’t just send on coffee runs to Dunkin’ or Starbucks. Give your interns real life projects and hands on experience.
  4. At the end of the internship period, don’t forget to thank your interns.
Continue to improve your internship program by asking for feedback after the intern has returned to college. Keep it simple using iRecruit forms, or GoogleDocs to create a simple form that will let you collect feedback, and provide you with an instant report.
Related Links:
Internship seekers should prepare for common interview questions like “What are your strengths,” or “What are your weaknesses,” but they can also expect less conventional queries.
Your business is small. Too small to have a fancy internship program or connections with universities. You may even be located in a town far removed from a school that has a major that fits your business. You should consider hiring a summer intern anyway. An intern can bring fresh ideas at low cost. Plus, you get the opportunity to help someone else learn how to be a great employee.
With the ever increasing demand for the highest quality candidates, finding the best is like finding a needle in a haystack for many small businesses. One solution is very simple: hire an intern.
Hiring interns is a great milestone for a young company and the use of interns is on the rise.  What is also on the rise, however, is the number of small businesses and startups getting audited for misclassifying interns as independent contractors or unpaid interns when they should have been classified as paid employees.
Tips from Michigan State University.
If you’re like a lot of employers, you’re deep into the process of trying to find those potentially stellar summer interns. Here are tips on finding the best ones — and risks you’ll need to look out for.
About iRecruit 
iRecruit is a cloud-based recruiting and applicant tracking software application that allows any size company to track and report on job applicants and positions. Find out more and take a quick screenshot tour on our website at http://www.irecruit-software.com or join a demo on Tuesdays or Thursdays at 2pm. Call iRecruit at 1-800-517-9099 if you have any questions.
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