How to Attract Great Interns to Your Business This Summer

Attracting great interns can be a challenge. Many college students are looking for a way to get their foot in the door of a potential employer. It’s not as easy as they may have anticipated, and they’ll often have a difficult time trying to determine which company they want to intern with.

As a business, your goal is to find interns who will bring value to your company, and ideally who you can shape into devoted and talented future employees. Consider the methods you’re using to attract interns, and modify your techniques to ensure you get the best candidates. Here are some ideas on how to find interns for your business:


Young african-american doctor making notes at the medical meeting


Ask professors

If you want an honest recommendation about who you should recruit as an intern to your company, start asking college professors. A professor will be able to recommend his or her best students to you directly, and you can approach those students using the professor as a middleman. In general, professors are happy to do whatever they can to help their star students find the best opportunities. As long as you have the success of their students in mind, you should have no problem accessing them via their teachers.


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Serious interns want to make the most out of an internship. Offering them simple assistance, such as help crafting a great resume, can sweeten the deal. Think about promises you can make that would appeal to serious, ambitious grads. If you’re recruiting for an unpaid internship, think about a quid pro quo. You can’t expect someone who’s really looking to make a name for themselves to do all that work for nothing but experience. You should be just as grateful to have an intern as they should be to have an internship.

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Let them shine

Doing menial tasks and boring checklist-type activities hardly qualifies as meaningful intern experience. Interns should be encouraged to utilize their base of current knowledge, not to mention their fresh ideas. You want their creativity and a diversity of opinion. You want their innovative solutions. You need to give them the opportunity to make a positive impact on your company. Internships should be a learning experience for both parties. If you stifle your interns, you’re depriving yourself of the potential to experience beneficial breakthroughs.


Open up the networking doors

What can you provide for your interns outside the office? Meetings, seminars, and work related events should be part of the package of options you offer. Building a network is very important to soon-to-be grads just starting their careers. They’re looking to meet people who can help them on their journey to career success and provide mentoring and real-world education. If you’re not grooming them for a position at your company, make sure they can finish their internship with meaningful leads and job prospects. Encourage them to explore their future.


Let them set the terms

Interns shouldn’t be burdened with the weight of your employees’ responsibilities. They should be there to help, learn, and contribute their unique ideas. Give them as much flexibility as you can. Whether they’re currently in college or they’re recent grads, there’s a lot going on in their lives. Don’t micromanage. Give them tasks, and allow them to complete those tasks how they desire, so long as everything is completed by the expected deadline. They need a balance between their internship and their life. Don’t suffocate them.

You’re probably familiar with the popular stereotypes on TV and in movies, where interns are treated like overworked servants. You need to ensure your interns finish their internship happier than they were when they started. Remember that positive intern experiences can lead to these people recommending your company to their colleagues who are looking for internships.


Jayne Blake works as a Communications Manager at Prospa Small Business Loans, Australia’s largest online business lender. She is interested in new marketing strategies and leadership trends.

Human Resources Today