Is an intern right for me?

February 20, 2024

In recent years, interns have become increasingly popular in small businesses across the country and around the globe. Across all industries, small business owners are beginning to see the positive benefits these young professionals can bring to their places of work.

Interns are oftentimes current college students or recent graduates. They are eager to learn by completely immersing themselves in the industries they one day hope to work in full-time. They are prepared to take on any challenges that come their way, and they are not afraid to ask questions to ensure they succeed with any work they are given.

However, just because interns are often young and just entering the workforce does not mean they are inexperienced. Their classes, student organizations, past jobs, and extracurricular activities have significantly prepared them and given them the skills they need to begin working in the industries they are passionate about.

Interns have the potential to greatly benefit the small businesses they work for. However, that does not mean hiring an intern is the right choice for all business owners.

Here are 7 reasons an intern may be right for your small business:

1. You have a surplus of work

One key reason many small business owners hire interns is because they have an abundance of work. Sometimes this surplus is more than their current bandwidth of employees can handle. Other times it is simply an opportunity for young professionals to gain experience while full-time employees focus on the most pressing assignments. Either way, having a surplus of work is a great reason for small business owners to decide having an intern is right for them. Hiring an intern who is knowledgeable about their field gives them extra, qualified hands to tackle assignments while also providing the intern with the valuable opportunity to learn and practice new skills.

2. You need fresh perspectives and innovation

Small business owners also find an intern is right for them when they need an outsider’s perspective as well as new and original ideas. Since interns rarely know a thorough amount about the businesses they are interning for or the exact work they do, they enter them with a unique perspective. They are quick to pick up on trends other employees may not as well as repeated mistakes that are hindering their success. Additionally, interns are able to come up with more innovative ideas than other employees as they are less likely to be influenced by past failures or successes. They bring an informed yet fresh perspective that allows them to brainstorm ideas that have the potential to break down barriers.

3. You would benefit from increased productivity

Additionally, an intern may be right for small business owners who need to boost productivity. Since many interns have experience completing the duties that are commonly performed at the businesses they are interning for due to their classes and student organizations, they have the ability to help with assignments and truly make a difference when there is a pressing deadline. Therefore, small business owners and their employees can rely on interns to provide high-quality assistance in completing tasks. However, they must be willing to give them light guidance and answer any questions they have along the way as this will increase the likelihood they complete the work correctly and efficiently the first time.

4. You have a tight budget and need cost-effective talent

An intern is also right for a small business owner who has a limited budget but still needs to recruit talented employees. Interns can provide high-quality work at a fraction of the cost. While it is recommended that all interns are compensated for the work they perform for a business, they often receive a stipend or are paid at an hourly rate that is less than that of a full-time employee. This is due to the fact that interns primarily wish to gain experience and learn new skills. Therefore, they typically receive less compensation than they would if they were an entry-level employee.

5. You value moldability and an eagerness to learn

Interns are also right for small business owners who appreciate professionals with a willingness to continuously grow and learn in the workplace. When many interns begin on their first day, it is the first time they have ever worked in a professional setting in the industry they wish to pursue. Thus, they will easily mold themselves to the small business they are working for, taking on the characteristics and habits of their coworkers and bosses. Also, as previously mentioned, interns are eager to learn and jump into projects they have never completed before. Therefore, they can easily be taught how to successfully complete assignments to the business’s standard. In return, small business owners have the opportunity to help interns develop as professionals.

6. You want to build a talent pipeline

Some of the most valuable and talented employees at a business were first interns there. Small business owners will find hiring interns is right for them if they wish to cultivate a steady flow of incoming talent. Interns learn the ins and outs, culture, and work standards of the businesses they are working for during their time there. Therefore, many small business owners find it beneficial to offer them full-time jobs, as they have already recruited and trained them, saving them time and money. Furthermore, interns have already conquered the learning curve that comes with working at a new business, making it even easier for them to seamlessly transition to a full-time job.

7. You desire to increase diversity

An intern is also right for small business owners who wish to diversify their workforces. Interns are typically the youngest individuals in an organization. This helps to create diversity in age among employees. Furthermore, this typically leads to diversity in thought, interests, and skills as well. An organization with a diverse workforce is able to more easily solve problems and come up with new, innovative ideas. This is due to the fact that individuals in a diverse workforce hold a wide range of identities, which affect how they perceive the world. Therefore, interns can help increase diversity at a small business, making it more successful in the process.

Interns, no matter the quantity or type of work they complete, have the potential to have a profound, positive impact on the small businesses they work for. They simply need to be given an opportunity and safe space to make mistakes, learn, and grow. When they are given this support and freedom, they develop into talented young professionals who have the ability to help the businesses they work for thrive for years to come.

PaySmart is a payroll provider located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, supporting small businesses in the Central PA region. We are dedicated to helping small businesses take care of their payroll needs. To learn more information about how PaySmart may provide payroll solutions, please get in touch with us at 717-766-1777. Our New Client Concierge is waiting for you!