As a small business owner, when you look for new hires, you likely look for candidates with experience. But the youngest generation finds themselves in between a rock and a hard place when they can’t get a job because they have no experience, but can’t get experience because they can’t get a job. Hiring students and interns isn’t just good for the younger generation, however — it can help your business too. Here are six reasons to consider hiring a student or intern.
Hiring young employees helps pass on the skills of your best employees.
Young employees need training, yes — but who better to train them than your current best employees? By starting with young employees now rather than later, you’ll be able to create a workplace mentorship, where your top employee can pass down advice and tips to the youngest generation. Employing area youth is a great way to help continue to offer what your business does best, while maybe even generating some new ideas with a fresh pair of eyes.
Interns are often affordable.
Interns don’t expect to earn what a full-time employee earns — and many internship positions are unpaid. By adding an intern or student to your staff, you can increase your manpower without drastically increasing your budget when compared to hiring an older full-time employee.
Hiring interns and students help build the skills for your existing employees too.
Training another employee is a leadership skill — by hiring a student or intern, you are providing a learning opportunity for your current staff. By gaining experience training an intern, your current staff can develop their leadership skills. Leadership skills can benefit your current employees long after the internship is finished.
Interns have the potential to become valuable long-term employees.
It’s not uncommon for an intern to stay long past the internship has officially ended. Consider an internship as an extended job interview — after an internship, you’ll know if that person is a good fit for your company, well beyond what you can gauge in a one-hour job interview.
Interns can help tackle your “some day” list.
Most business owners are so swamped, they have a list of “some day” items that they hope to tackle at some point, but seldom actually get to work on. Interns can be great for tackling some of these projects, or freeing up some of your time for you to actually get to that list.
Interns can help you understand what younger customers are looking for.
Every generation has differences — but bringing on a member of the younger generation can help spark new ideas for your business. A post-millennial may have a better grasp of social media, for example, or emerging technology than a Gen Xer. Younger employees can also help identify the pain points of younger customers that could soon make up a large portion of your business.
While looking for experience is important when hiring new staff, small business owners shouldn’t ignore the potential of a young applicant either. By working with interns or students, you can find new ideas for the youngest customers, tackle more projects and even grow the leadership skills of your current staff.