Internships: A Start-Up Solution

With hundreds of thousands of new talented graduates flooding an already crowded employment market, the future is looking pretty grim for university leavers. One feature of this complex issue has been the steady growth of the internship; once restricted to aspiring journalists and politicians, internships are now available across most industry sectors.

Internships strike a fair balance for someone who is predominantly learning, but also contributing fresh ideas and enthusiasm to their company.

Many employers use the internship programme as a cost-effective way of recruiting qualified and motivated graduates.  They also provide an ideal opportunity for employers to better evaluate applicants before committing to employing them. 

It is important to remember the intern is not a full time employee but they are there to develop their skills and experience whilst bringing fresh ideas to the company. 

Inspiring Interns work with an array of companies from a broad range of industry sectors including digital, mobile, business, IT and marketing among others. Our clients are normally SMEs looking for new student talent to bring fresh ideas, enthusiasm and value to their business.  Often graduates look straight to the large global companies and discount the experience they can gain at smaller enterprises.

At Inspiring we believe SMEs have a lot to offer the current economy and are becoming an increasingly valuable option for university leavers who struggle to compete for the coveted schemes at major multinationals.

They can offer better on-the-job training, invaluable hands-on experience and a more personal approach to further your career.

We search for talented, intelligent, and motivated young interns who want to learn, grow and importantly make a positive contribution through their skill sets and attitude. We screen and interview every potential intern that we put forward for a position. We psychometric test them and film short video CV’s to ensure that we are dealing with highly motivated as well as talented people. We then send out a short-list of candidates that we feel suitably match our client’s specifications.  Any team, whether it is finance, administration, sales, marketing, HR, design or otherwise will benefit from having an intern as an additional team member.

Internships have been under growing scrutiny from independent campaign groups and even government, therefore it is advisable for employers to learn the law. 

By failing to observe the legal framework concerning internships, employers may find themselves in trouble.  To avoid the pitfalls that can accompany internships and create a relationship that is mutually beneficial for you and for the intern it is important to remember that the experience should be predominantly about mentoring and teaching the intern. As a result, on completion of the internship, they will then be valued and knowledgeable employees. It is also important to think about the intern’s responsibilities. An intern can have jobs to do, but if an unpaid intern has been given a list of duties for which they alone are responsible, their role is becoming that of employee who would need to be paid. If an intern is not on payroll then they have no obligation to be at the office and can’t be disciplined for lateness or absence. There should also be scope for paid employment after the internship period providing the intern has met the expectations of their employers.

This article was written by Hannah Lawrence of Inspiring Interns, who specialise in helping small business connect with graduate talent through internships which lead to permanent jobs. They have matched over 1000 interns with SMEs.

Sign Up to our Newsletter

So you enjoy The NextWomen. Why not sign up to our monthly newsletter?
You get a Letter from the CEO :-), the chance to catch up with the best of our recent articles - and some extra things we throw in once in a while.

We try hard for smart reading.