Five Real Reasons to Host an Intern

BY Natasha Lyubic |
22/01/19

Consider the following for a moment: of the 6,500 interns that Readygrad placed last year, 46% were offered an ongoing role by their host company.

These are real figures from Australian-based businesses including prominent national and international brands. So there’s no denying the data, internships offer real benefits to business.

If you’ve been toying with the idea of bringing on an intern, here are five reasons to stop thinking and start taking action.

Reason 1: It's a great way to find great employees

The internship offers your intern invaluable learning opportunities and experience. By providing meaningful work reflective of a typical role in your industry, you enable your intern to show-case and develop essential skills from the technical to the cultural. Throughout the three-month placement, host companies are often incredibly impressed by the growth and development they see in the intern and by the end of the three months, don’t be surprised if you’ve found your next permanent team member.

"Through the program we have been able to assist students but also add value to the business. We've enjoyed seeing them grow and in many cases ultimately become employed and even progress to Team Leader roles." - National Support Manager, Mobilise IT

Reason 2: It provides a powerful mentoring opportunity for a member of your team

As part of the internship program the intern is paired with a dedicated mentor and this is highlighted by employers as one of the keys to success. This gives your existing team members an excellent professional development opportunity. Enabling an aspiring manager or people leader to mentor an intern for three months will help them develop their leadership, management and self-accountability skills and will likely have an incredibly positive impact on your business culture. It demonstrates your commitment to the growth of your team members just as much as the intern. The flow on effects of this are many – including more engaged staff, a positive view of your brand and a positive view of Australian workplaces for the intern.

"The internship program provides an opportunity for our employees to connect with and mentor young students. It's very helpful for our business culture as it is mutually beneficial for the students to develop and gain real exposure to the field they are studying." - Financial Accountant, Hellman

Reason 3: Fresh eyes, fresh minds, fresh ideas

It’s easy to discount interns for lack of experience, but if experience shows us anything it’s that assumptions like these kill progress. Consider this – your intern is fresh out of university, with no preconceptions and a desire to create an impact (and get a job). This desire makes them eager to impress, get involved, learn and contribute real value. Readygrad often hears back from mentors about the value their interns have created from identifying small changes that have saved the company thousands of dollars to putting forward ideas that have created more efficiency in decade long processes. Young, eager minds are our future and you can benefit from them today.

“Part of the value for our team is being asked the questions we don’t normally ask ourselves. For example, one of our grads found a high risk issue in the second week she was here. No one had identified the same issue in 28 years.” - Head of Internal Audit, HCF Australia

Reason 4: You need to inject talent into a specific project quickly

Recruitment processes can be tedious and expensive – particularly when you have a time-sensitive project. This is the perfect opportunity to help an intern develop a specific skill-set while receiving the additional project support you need. For example, you may need a whole series of brand videos filmed and edited or you may need a project management assistant or perhaps an extra finance officer. As long as you are able to provide clear expectations, direction and support - you could have a talented resource in your business within days.

“We got on like a house on fire - the interns are so open minded. You see the light bulb switch on and they begin to contribute ideas to the work. They were eager to learn from the company." - CEO, United Solar Energy

Reason 5: As a leader you are in the privileged position to give a young professional a start 

In late 2018 Readygrad released an independently conducted piece of research into the motivations and reasons employers hire international students. Insights from 280 employers revealed that giving a young person a go was the top rated reason for bringing on an intern. While altruism may not always be your first reason, it may end up being one of the most important. As a leader you are in the incredible position to contribute your knowledge and experience to support and shape the leaders of tomorrow. It’s moments like this that are often most defining in not only the intern’s career journey but in yours too. There is truly no better feeling than knowing that you have had a positive impact on someone’s life. What you give, you always get back.

"We have enjoyed mentoring and coaching the students, seeing how they develop their skills and helping them kick start their IT career."  - IT Service Desk Manager, Rexel Holdings Australia

 

An intern can transform your workday. An internship can transform their life.

Find out more about hosting an intern with Readygrad - they're ready when you are.


 

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