Growing Silicon Roundabout startups short on cash but in need of support need not panic, writes Ben Rosen, founder of Inspiring Interns;
For fresh-faced SMEs, the prospect of making a new hire can be daunting. You may not have a huge amount of in-house recruitment experience and any new addition can have a big impact on the dynamic of a small team. Perhaps even more challenging is the idea of hiring an inexperienced graduate whose credentials and potential are much harder to spot. Yet finding the right new young employee could bring you enthusiasm, dynamism and swiftly boost your growth. How does one chart a safe course between minimising the risk of hiring a graduate and the potential it offers? The answer is an internship.
An internship is a two-way process that allows you to train up a potential new employee, see them in situ and assess their potential impact on your business. In return the intern can get some fantastic hands-on experience, gain industry contacts and possibly create a job for themselves. While an internship may cost you a little more time and effort in terms of planning and support, your exposure to the risk of a full new hire – and the financial implications thereof – is greatly reduced.
Inevitably, discussions around internships must address the question of pay. Sadly, there is no clear-cut answer – those who say all internships must be paid are wrong, as are those who insist they can all be unpaid. In short, internships must adhere to existing National Minimum Wage legislation. In practice this means that internships where there is a strong training and supervision element will probably be exempt, while those where there is a requirement on the intern to produce work from the word go must be paid. At Inspiring Interns we advise clients to pay a minimum of lunch and travel expenses to ensure the intern is not out-of-pocket.
How do you make the most of an internship? First and foremost, structure is key. You will be wasting both your time and the graduate’s if you simply throw them in the deep end and leave them to sink or swim. Devise tasks that an intern can learn about and complete under supervision from one of your team. Allow them to see different areas of the business. Offer regular feedback and seek the intern’s suggestions as to how they would like to see the placement develop. Make sure you include your intern in any extra-curricular company activities – such as they may be. All of these things will help the intern settle into your business, allow them to demonstrate their potential and ultimately become a valuable new member of your team. Do this and you may well have successfully (and inexpensively) navigated the new hire obstacle course.
Thank you Ben.
To find out more about Inspiring Interns visit their website at inspiringinterns.com
Alternatively, to find out more about available office property in the Silicon Roundabout area contact Kushner at www.kushnerproperty.com