You can benefit greatly from taking on an intern. It can bring innovative improvements to your established practices. It can also benefit you in gaining a quality employee who is hard to find in today’s job market.
Hiring an intern can help your business, whether you are self-employed, a start-up or a small established company. It can pay off, for example, when you feel you are already taking on too many tasks yourself and are finding it difficult to get a new employee on the job market. An internship is an opportunity to get to know a potential employee thoroughly and to get to know both sides to see if this is a promising relationship.
If you train your intern well, you can delegate tasks that don’t require your direct involvement and supervision and you can attend to matters that cannot be done without you. While such work may require a time investment at the beginning, if your collaboration works, you will gain a quality, malleable employee.
But working with interns can also have a rewarding effect on your personal growth. Regular contact can help you hone your mentoring skills and your ability to convey your ideas to others in a way that they can understand and relate to. It also offers you the opportunity to hone your communication skills, learning how to give quality feedback, which is often a common weak point for many people.
Last but not least, the trainee can also enrich your experience. When you hire an intern, you may find that he or she can work with different types of programs that you don’t know and may not even know about. An intern can also give you up-to-date theoretical knowledge that you can use to improve your services and products. They can also give you a fresh perspective on your established practice.
You can also take on an intern to better understand the market you are targeting with your products and services. For such purpose, it is recommended to hire an intern who is representative of your target group. By meeting on a regular basis, you can more easily understand the priorities and interests of your target group, gain a broader understanding of the market in other contexts, and can thus better target your customers.
How do you do that?
If you want to strengthen your mentoring skills, you don’t have to go it alone. MentorTrain, an online course developed by the Erasmus programme and available free of charge to anyone interested, can help you understand how you can find a trainee in partnership with universities or colleges. It will guide you through all the stages of a quality internship. You will get a systematic overview of how a good internship should be run quite quickly.
Hiring an intern can be an interesting opportunity for many self-employed people or small companies, but one that they may not be able to grasp well. That is why the MentorTrain project was also created with the aim of helping those interested to handle the whole situation in a way that benefits all parties.
You can take the entire online course or just selected parts of it. For example, you will learn how to structure the internship itself to benefit both you and the intern, how to prepare the work environment so that everything works, how to train the intern effectively so that he or she knows what his or her responsibilities are, how the job will work, and what is expected of him or her.
The course also offers guidance on how to give quality feedback. You will learn how to tell the intern whether you are satisfied with his/her work, what needs to be changed and in what form so that there is mutual understanding. The aim is for the intern to be of benefit to your business, but also to gain valuable advice and experience for the future.
You will learn how to prioritize the necessary tasks so that you have the opportunity to delegate some of them to the intern, and you have the opportunity to focus on the core tasks. In addition, the course also includes a passage on mandatory legislation that you need to know when hiring interns.
MentorTrain will guide you through the entire process of selecting and hiring an intern and provide you with valuable tips on how to guide the whole collaboration and where to take it.
The project is funded by the European Union under the Erasmus+ KA2 programme. Its purpose is to support entrepreneurs who want to develop and improve their mentoring skills. It is a public service that is available free of charge to anyone interested. The course can be found on the website https://www.mentortrain.eu/.