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If you’ve been relying on job-ready candidates to acquire new talent, you’re missing some valuable opportunities. To widen your net, be sure to build a talent-sourcing and -training pipeline into your company’s DNA so you’re never strapped for qualified candidates when you need them most. That’s where an internship program comes in.

Benefits of Internship Programs

Steady supply

In today’s competitive job market, an internship program makes it that much easier to secure a good match: you’ll broaden your network of potential hires, and you’ll have a greater idea of their strengths and goals than you can get from a regular interview process. Once your internship program is up and running, you’ll have a steady flow of candidates to consider the next time you have an unexpected hiring need.

The price is right

Most interns view their position as a temporary yet highly valuable personal investment. Because they are just beginning their careers, they’ll be highly motivated to perform well in their roles even at a lower pay grade. Of course, you should pay your interns for their contributions – but because they’re still learning, you can pay them less than what you’d pay full-stack employees.

Many hands make light work

Interns can help check off some of the less complex, less skilled tasks on your company to-do list. With the smaller stuff taken care of, your full-stack employees can enjoy uninterrupted focus on larger-scale projects.

That said, don’t deprive your interns of hard-hitting projects: a good internship program builds the skills needed to take on greater challenges in the future. Nowadays, only 8 percent of interns’ tasks involve clerical, unskilled work. The other 92%? High-level skills. Bottom line, prepare your interns to become your employees.

Implementing Your Program

Consider your needs

Not all internship programs need to follow the same template. While considering how to structure your program, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What role will the intern have within the company?
  • What skills and qualities do they need to have to be successful?
  • Who is available to mentor them?

Finally, think big picture: what is your long-term vision for your company, and what skills will future employees need to make it a reality? This is perhaps the single most important aspect of developing an internship program. Say you’re looking to build a patient information website in the near future. This means you’ll need tech-savvy employees who can handle its creation and maintenance. If you train interns in these skills and they return to work for you full-time, they can hit the ground running.

Recruit and hire

To get your program off to a good start, begin recruiting interns several months before your program launches. Consider posting advertisements on job boards, asking around, and working with a university to begin your recruitment process. Schools like Northeastern University have co-op programs that supply interns to biotech companies.

As you consider who to take on, think of interns as future employees, not just temporary assistants. Even if they don’t end up working for you, they’re likely to tell their peers about their experience with you, which can make or break your reputation among potential hires.

Onboard and train

If possible, assign every intern a mentor at the beginning of the program. This helps orient the intern and gives your existing employees a built-in leadership opportunity. As your interns integrate into your company dynamic, include them in company brainstorming sessions. They’ll appreciate the gesture and you’ll benefit from their outside ideas and insight.

Also consider conducting exit interviews to ask your interns what they appreciated about the program and what you could improve the next time. If you’re serious about your internship program, the learning experience should go both ways.

If all goes well, make them an offer

Recent interns make great employees – they’ve already integrated into your company culture and know the basic ropes of the job, making the training process easier for everyone. Once your interns have wrapped up their programs, discuss their contributions with your managers, mentors, executives and program directors. If you were all generally satisfied with their performance and trust that they can continue to learn and grow, make them an offer. If they’re like 79.6 percent of interns, they’ll eagerly accept it.

Internships bring long-term value to your company

Implementing an internship program is a long-term investment that can cut down on a lot of hiring risk and training time later down the line. In the short term, it’s the classic win-win: they need the experience and you need the help. Over the long haul, it makes your hiring process more efficient and broadens your talent pool. Another big win.

If you plan to start an internship program, but would prefer to payroll them through a third-party company instead of adding them to your payroll, Sci.Bio is available to offer payroll services. Sci.Bio will manage the employee and employer liabilities associated with contract/contingent hiring. We offer payrolled contractors benefits to help keep them satisfied in their role so that they could turn into long term hires once they graduate! And our payroll fee is remarkably reasonable. Find out more here..

References

  1. 5 steps to a successful internship program
  2. 14 Benefits of Starting an Internship Program for you Company
  3. Hiring During a Biotech Boom: The Talent Challenges Facing Companies Across All Markets
  4. Want good hires who stick around? Make their careers your business (Sci.bio post)
  5. The Benefits of Hiring an Intern