Many small business owners don’t know how to hire an intern. They are great with running the business and dealing with clients, but when it comes to hiring interns they just don’t have the time or knowledge of what to do. Some of the steps that most small business owners get tripped up on are writing a winning job description, figuring out how and where to post the job description, and screening candidate resumes once they have interns applying. If you can get these three steps right, you can be hiring interns for your small business in no time.
The problem with writing a job description for a small business internship is that the intern will probably be working all over the place instead of just one area like marketing for example. Many schools are actually fine with broad ranging internships because it will introduce the intern to a wide variety of work experience. The key is to be as detailed as possible with your job description. You should explain things like: what the learning outcomes for the intern will be, the type of work the intern will be doing, and why you are hiring interns and how they will benefit your company.
There are many options when it comes to posting your internship opportunity. Some small business owners choose to post their internships on mass posting sites like NACElink, UCAN, or LACN. This strategy is good because it makes sure that you are going to receive a large applicant pool. Another popular strategy that many small business owners use is to post their internships to individual schools. Many small business owners hire interns this way because it lets them control the quality and type of students at can apply. It’s also very rewarding when you can hire interns from your alma mater.
The final step in hiring interns is to screen through all of the resumes. If you wrote a really good job description and followed an effective job posting strategy then you should be receiving a large number of applicants. The standard approach that many small business owners take is to separate resumes into three separate piles for yes, no, and maybes. We like to take our resume screening process one step further and add a resume screening tool. A resume screening tool can be something simple like a requirement to write a cover letter or a small about me paragraph. What you are looking for here is not the best cover letter ever, but the ability for the intern to follow directions. This extra little step helps insure that the best students are applying for your position.
Every small business owner should look into hiring interns because it is an extremely effective way to help grow and expand your business. When writing your job description, always remember to be as detailed and honest as possible. Next, choose the job posting strategy that will allow you to hire the best interns for your small business. Finally, add in an extra little resume screening tool to make sure you are receiving high quality applicants.