It is Seattle Jobs Initiative’s goal that while creating opportunities for low-income individuals to attain living-wage careers, we also meet the needs and concerns of local employers. With that in mind, we’ve developed these articles devoted to facilitating the best possible partnership between SJI, employers and job seekers. We hope business owners and HR professionals alike will find our tips and resources useful.
- Benefits of Creating an Internship Program
Internships are obviously beneficial to students – they gain practical work experience while getting the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge learned in the classroom to actual on-the-job experience. Internship programs are also beneficial for the company – and the benefits go far beyond inexpensive labor. Internships are a smart recruitment tool and great investment for any employer.
Many companies have a difficult time finding qualified entry-level employees, and developing an internship program offers a great solution to that problem. An internship can be likened to a 2-month job interview, because a company really gets the chance to assess an individual’s character, work ethic and skills – all of which are crucial to any employer but aren’t always revealed in one or two short interviews.
Employers consistently report higher retention rates among employees who got their start as interns with the company. All of this translates into significant savings in recruitment, and consequently, higher returns on investment.
Developing constructive internships can be time consuming, but if the right structures are in place, they can actually be a cost-saving measure for your company. Seattle Jobs Initiative is here to make the process easier — please contact SJI Program Manager for questions or assistance:
Jill Braun (206) 621-0498
- Tips for Setting Up a Successful Internship
An internship’s benefits to the company and to the intern will be maximized if careful thought is put into the organization of the internship. Seattle Jobs Initiative can help you plan and develop an internship tailored to your company’s needs. For now, here are things to consider:
Plan in Advance – HR and/or the hiring manager should work with each department early on to forecast upcoming staffing needs and areas where an intern could contribute most.
Structure the Program – Interns need a supervisor assigned to them, and the supervisor must understand that interns will need some of their time, especially in the beginning.
Create a Duties Outline – Ask managers to create a list of duties and project areas for which the intern will be responsible so that everyone is on the same page before the intern starts work. Make sure the intern understands his/her role in the company.
Hold an Orientation – Interns need an orientation to learn the ground rules and resources available. During orientation, set the expectations on dress, attendance, behavior and technology use.
Assign a Mentor – Whenever possible, match a mentor to the intern. Mentors are different than supervisors. Mentoring is a mutually agreeable relationship that is intended to further the educational and professional development of the protégé. Mentors can be valuable for coaching or day-to-day questions, and can help interns understand and get acquainted with the corporate culture.
Seattle Jobs Initiative goal is to make each internship beneficial to the employer as well as the intern. If you’d like more assistance with developing an internship program in your company, please contact Jill Braun at (206) 621-0498 or firstname.lastname@example.org.