Do ‘free’ employees really exist? Thankfully, they do! If you are a small start up business, or simply do not have the financial means of paying a new employee but still require tasks to be done, then your best bet is to search for interns.
Experience vs. Wage
Interns can be a university graduate, student, college leaver or any professional who needs experience within a particular industry to advance in their career. Although some internships are paid, many are not, and this is largely because the aim of the internship from the individual’s perspective is to learn the tricks of the trade, rather than to earn a wage. It is primarily about gaining valuable experience.
Ability to help you reach target markets
Interns could be the best recruitment decision you make, especially when it comes to marketing/PR positions, where your target market is young people. Nobody knows the 18-25 demographic better than someone who is that age themselves!
If the internship works out well for both you and the candidate, then it could lead to a full time and paid position. Not only will the intern be familiar with the way you do business, they will also understand their line of work far better than if you had to hire a new employee from scratch.
How to recruit a free employee…
The usual job advert in the paper, or even posted online will not suffice. The competition for good interns is fierce, not only because they are working for free, but because the best ones will help your business the most. Graduates from top universities are therefore highly sought.
In order to catch the attention of the best interns out there, you should make full use of social media. Create a company twitter account, Facebook profile and LinkedIn account, and advertise your need for top quality interns for a once in a lifetime work experience! Rather than writing a traditional job post, make it creative and fun – remember you are trying to appeal to students, graduates, and young executives, who will likely response better to a fun and exciting post.
Giving them something back
Make sure you are giving the intern something in exchange for their hard work (this will help attract the best interns to apply). You can guarantee them valuable industry contacts, experiences of working for events, opportunities to learn on the job or attend training to enhance their existing skills, and depending on where the intern is travelling from, you could offer travel expenses.