We’ve previously explored some of the requirements you must follow to ensure your “unpaid internship” program complies with federal, state and local requirements. But what about a paid internship program? If you provide a chance for the student to learn while they earn, you’ll find the arrangement mutually beneficial. Here are some ways to make a paid internship program work for both you and the intern.

Manage the experience:

  • List what you’d like the intern to do and learn.
  • Develop a weekly schedule with the intern, determining what time to arrive and what time to leave. (Remember, you may be working with a student’s class schedule.)
  • Designate someone (or yourself) who will supervise and mentor the intern.
  • Set a weekly meeting time to provide constructive feedback to the student about his or her performance.
  • Plan to spend more time training and explaining procedures than with typical new hires.
  • Provide them with an employee manual before their first day.

Finding interns:

  • Word-of-mouth. Your current employees know someone who knows someone.
  • Use social media. Many students searching for internships are looking at their favorite companies’ Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Contact nearby colleges or vocational schools. Many schools have a staff member within their career services office who serve as a liaison between students and businesses with internships.
  • The major jobs websites (e.g., Monster.com) have a section for businesses to list internship opportunities.

Lots of candidates? How to chose the best.

Evaluating internship applications and choosing the best candidate can be challenging because several will lack relevant experience. Instead, evaluate candidates based on so-called soft skills, such as their ability to problem-solve or work well on a team, or even their friendliness or optimism.

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