Best Practices for a Successful Internship Program

HR Resource
April 18, 2013 — 2,895 views  
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With the growing emphasis on on-field training and hands-on experience in the employment market, professionals from all sectors--ranging from management to heath care, architecture and technology--are looking out for internship programs. This makes it an absolute necessity for you to ensure that the internship program you offer in your organization is capable of providing the interns with the knowledge that they seek and also abides with the rules of the Department of Labor.

Compulsory Laws for Internship

Most Departments of Labor require that all interns be paid a minimum wage and overtime wage for their contribution to an organization. Though you are taking chances by getting interns to work, they are viewed as employees to the organization and therefore, should be paid for the period that they have worked for. 

Unpaid Internship

To nullify this clause stated by the Department of Labor, the internship program should meet some criteria. Though the internship takes place in your organizational premises, it would be considered as training benefiting the intern if it is conducted in a more education focused environment. The intern cannot do the work of fixed employees that gives immediate gain to your organization. The work of the intern needs to be constantly supervised. There should be an understanding between you and the intern that s/he is not entitled to a regular pay and that there is no promise of a job after the internship is complete.

Get Interns to Know You

When you recruit new interns in your organization, the first thing you need to concentrate on is getting them oriented with the kind of work you do and what is expected out of them. Providing them welcoming handbooks will give them an understanding of the rules. Dedicating an employee to supervise the work of the interns will be a great way to ensure proper training without hindering the regular workflow. Allow the interns to interact with all the teams in your organization to make them understand and feel the working environment.

Provide more Opportunities to Learn

You can conduct a panel discussion for your interns with a few young and fresh employees as panelists. This interaction will help the interns to relate to them and get an understanding of how they should go about their career. Inviting your company’s CEO will assist the interns to establish a role model and set a target for themselves as to where they want to be in their life after a few years.

Attracting Interns

A great way to draw interns towards your organization is by proposing internship programs with a small stipend or scholarship. Offering them assistance in housing and relocating is a much appreciated factor. You will get a lot of recommendations if you provide them in-house work-skill training like time management, computer programming, etc.

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