As a small business owner, hiring interns does come with some important responsibilities. But don’t worry; these responsibilities are minor when compared to the amazing benefits that come with hiring interns. Some of the top responsibilities include making sure the internship is set in a learning environment, keeping in contact with the intern’s university, and writing a post-internship evaluation.
When hiring interns, it’s always important to see things through the eyes of the intern as well as from your point of view as the small business owner. In addition to being able to put real world experience down on their resume, the main reason students take internships is to learn. When you hire an intern, you are responsible for maintaining a learning environment. This means being open to answering any questions they have and guiding them in the right direction on projects and assignments. Having a learning environment really sets the tone of the internship and makes it enjoyable for the intern to show up to work every day and help your small business succeed.
Another responsibility you take on when you hire an intern is the responsibility to keep in contact with the intern’s school. Many small business owners think that after they hire an intern they are done with the university until the end, but this is not the case. From the school’s point of view, they want to make sure that things are running smoothly and the intern is fulfilling the duties listed in your job description. Some schools will go as far as to make on site visits to your place of business, while others will just want to email back and forth during the internship to make sure things are ok. We recommend emailing or calling your internship coordinator every now and then to discuss the internship because it helps your small business form a strong relationship with the university.
In most internship programs you will also be required to fill out a post-internship evaluation form. When filling out this form, it is always important to be honest. Many small business owners will only state the positives about the intern instead of the negatives. This approach actually hurts the intern because it doesn’t give them anything to work on and improve.
As you can see, hiring interns does come with responsibilities. It may seem easy to maintain a learning environment, keep in contact with the school, and fill out an evaluation form, but these are actually very important and can mean the difference between a good and bad internship program. If you have any questions or comments about your responsibilities when you hire an intern make sure to post them in the comments section and we will be glad to answer them. If we get enough feedback we’ll post a more in depth second part of this article…maybe legal responsibilities????