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Help interns help you get better results

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Throughout the year, and especially now during the summer, many of our enterprises use college interns to fill out our teams, handle routine (or not-so-rou­tine) tasks and help us get the job done. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind for using interns on your team:

Real employees, real jobs. Whether interns are paid or not, and regardless of how much they get paid, they are employees whose work needs to be managed just like anyone else. Even if an intern is most useful to your team doing miscellaneous tasks as needed, you should still prepare a job description outlining those typi­cal duties. You should also make formal agreements with interns specifying their hours and clarifying that they're expected to conform to team expectations regard­ing attendance. And, of course, you need all employees, including interns, to agree in writing to adhere to your enterprise's standards of conduct, rules regarding con­fidentiality, and so on.

Paid or not? Many enterprises take on interns for an initial term of service (such as a college semester) without pay, and then offer payment when and if those interns stay on for longer—sometimes until they're hired on as regular employ­ees. Check with your enterprise's HR and legal counsel regarding any wage-and-hour rules that would apply in such cases. If it's simpler to not offer any kind of sti­pend, consider the kind of non-monetary rewards you can offer. If you're trying to make sure you get the best young talent, particularly if you see interns as potential future hires, you may need to offer more than simply college credit.

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