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Dollars attract summer interns, but experience keeps them

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in FMLA Guidelines,Hiring,Human Resources

If your organization hires summer interns, be prepared to offer them more than a lunch and a souvenir coffee cup.

If you hope to cultivate those interns as future permanent employees, it is important to pay them, even if you can’t match the $16.33 per hour the average intern makes. Nearly all organizations that consider their summer internship programs part of a longer-range recruiting effort pay students for their work.

And the National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that students who aren’t paid during their internships tend to be dissatisfied with the experience.

But beyond the big bucks, try these tactics to recruit capable interns who will consider signing on permanently after graduation:

Create a rewarding internship experience that involves substantive work and little or no “grunt” work or errand running.

Welcome their presence. If you ignore interns or treat them as an added chore, you’ll squander an opportunity to profit from fresh, young ideas, awesome computer skills and the specialized education of someone who is majoring in your field.

Match the student’s skills and education
to the tasks you assign. A graduate student, for instance, is probably more capable than a college sophomore and can start working on projects right away. Someone with experience designing web pages will be eager to design some for your organization. Interview each intern to learn his or her specific skills.

Teach the intern
about your entire organization, rather than about just one of its jobs. Assign the student to fill in for vacationing workers in various departments. Bonus: This will help smooth out your organization’s workflow during a time of high absenteeism.

Appoint a mentor for the interns who can train and manage them. This takes time and effort, but it can result in student employees who are more focused and able to work productively all summer.

Encourage the intern
to keep in touch and consider working for your organization after graduation.

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