Summer Situations: Eager Interns are Tomorrow’s Qualified Professionals
This past weekend was Mother’s Day… and many college graduations. The majority of college kids are out for summer “break” and in another month high school kids will begin their summer hiatus from school. I am of the personal opinion that the best thing we can do for kids (and potentially our workload) is hire interns.
What is one of the most distressing things for a job hunter to hear from a prospective employer? “You do not have the experience.” I remember my days just after college graduation. Every company with whom I interviewed would always end the process, letting me down gently, saying, “We think you could do the job, but you don’t have the experience.” By the fourth or fifth time of hearing this I wanted to drop to my knees and plead, “Please give me the opportunity to prove to you that experience isn’t everything!”
It is a Catch 22. You cannot get the job because you do not have the experience; but you cannot get the experience without getting a job doing those things.
Interns Today Equal Qualified Employees Tomorrow
If your organization will allow internships, consider creating an internship. It helps enrich your future hiring pool. There will be more applicants with experience that you want. In the 2012 NACE Internship and Co-op Survey it was reported that almost 60% of interns converted into full-time employees. How fantastic! You already know the intern’s work ethic and skill set. The intern knows your organization’s workings and expectations.
How do you go about hiring interns? Everyone’s style is different. For me, I need someone who can learn and think further ahead than lunch. Here’s a question I like to ask during internship interviews, “If I hand you this document and ask you to make me 10 copies, what will you do next?” The best answer came from this quiet junior who did not stand out from the crowd at first glance. He said, “What will you be using these copies for and who do I find if I can’t figure out the copier?” You see, he wasn’t worried about color versus black/white copies, stapled or not. He was already thinking about what would make these copies the best for their final use (further conversation revealed stapling and collation were in his plans, too).
Two nicely written articles have been published in the last few days about interns that you might find helpful. The first is from the Harvard Business Review discussing things you should consider and need to do before hiring an intern.
The second article is from the CEO of SparkHire. One of the best pieces in his article is where he talks about hiring Creative Thinkers. The author references creative ways to interview interns. With our own ATS application I have seen hiring managers at client organizations ask questions like, “Please finish the following sentences.” Then the hiring manager lists out the beginning of several sentences for the applicant to finish. “If I were an animal…” “If I could have any job in the world regardless of current skills or talent….”
Help put the dreaded experience merry-go-round to bed and hire an intern!
For more hiring process tips, visit ExactHire’s Resources Section.