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How to Hire an Intern – Complete Guide

Considering a new project, research, growth potential or even mopping up excess office task? You do not need to hire a full-time employee to support your growth strategies or push for the completion of existing projects. Sometimes, there are more advantages to bringing on board an intern to fill the void.

Internships in China are an excellent opportunity for recent graduates who have gained theoretical knowledge willing to work in a real environment and acquire some experience in one of the biggest world economies. They come on board hungry for exposure and ready to push the boundary to be challenged. However, companies can also benefit from these excellent, talented and international interns who will add value to their teams, as long as they have well-structured intern programs.

We wrote this article because we noticed most international companies would like to recruit international interns but have issues doing it. So, we did the hard work on your behalf by combining 10 years of our experience as an internship Placement Agency. At the end of this article you should be able to:

  • Understand what are interns expecting from your organization;
  • Know how to Plan, design and Execute  an internal internship program that will keep your recruitment pipeline always full
  • Know how to recruit international interns to add value to your company

If you want to know more about How to Hire Interns, we also prepared a detailed step by step guide for companies to help you go through all the process. You can have access to it here.

Understand what interns are expecting from your organization

Before starting to design your program, you need to understand what interns are really looking for. If your company know their motivations you can build an intern program that fits their interest and it’s sustainable over time. These are some of the main factors that interns expect from your organization:

  • Opportunity to develop skills relevant to their future Career Plans;
  • Challenging assignments that get them applying their theoretical understandings;
  • Job orientation and training;
  • Social Networking;
  • Flexible working conditions;
  • Good references;
  • Opportunity to fulltime employment – not a requirement.

Workable also mentions be treated with recognition and as real staff members who can perform meaningful tasks  as a very important factor.

Design an internal internship program

Internships are an excellent opportunity to add value to your company and develop your future talent. However, it needs to be well planned to work.

Before hiring an intern, a company must design a program according to its needs and goals. These are the steps you should follow when creating a new internship program:

  1. Decide whether you need interns – First of all, you should understand if you need interns. According to Entrepreneur, “an internship is first and foremost a training program – not just low-cost help“.  You should easily answer questions like What is the organization’s expectation from the internship program?, How can an intern help you with your business goals?, Do you have enough work to cover an intern’s (short-term and long-term assignments)?, Do you have available office space and other resources?, Do you want a sustainable program or just ad-hoc?.
  2. Engage staff members – If you decided you need interns, at this point you should have meetings with your staff or team members concerned to understand the rules of engagement and answer the questions What will be the intern’s role?, What will be his tasks?, How much time is needed?, What skills and academic background should the intern have?, Who will be his/ her mentor?. They are the ones who know better the needs and goals of their departments, so it’s fundamental to the program you engage them since the beginning.
  3. Document Available Positions – After the considerations above, collect all the information needed and identify available areas that interns can fill. In this step, you will design job roles and set requirements are necessary to fit the areas you identified as in need of an intern. You can learn more about developing job roles in The Chapter –  The Job descriptions of our complete guide (download here).
  4. Interview Criteria and Questions – An interview is vital to the intern and employer to understand each other better and clarify what is at stake. It’s also an excellent opportunity for companies to evaluate the candidate’s profile and some of his skills. You can learn more about interviews in our Chapter Selecting the right Intern – What to measure during an interview of our complete guide (download here).
  5. Set tools to measure performance – This is a critical part of your program because will allow you to continuously improve your internship programs. Choose a few techniques to evaluate your interns’ performance on a regular basis and help them to improve their efficiency. You can learn more about this in our Chapter Measuring performance of our complete guide (download here).
  6. Implement internship program – Congrats! You have just hired an intern who is motivated to work with your organization. What is next? It is essential to understand those first impressions are crucial. How do you develop a training program? What measures are put in place building excitement in interns till they arrive?. Learn more about What Keeps Interns Motivated and Working Hard.
  7. Repeat – Repeat step 1 to 5 at a predetermined time interval. For your Internship Program keeping attracting great talents, you need to keep the talent pipeline full of new interests and also review the steps to make sure you are always engaged in the best standards and process.

How to recruit interns for your business

After your internship program is ready and designed it’s time to promote it and attract potential interns. We give 4 options and how you can do this correctly with a zero budget.

  • Social Media – Social media where you can post international internship opportunities (like LinkedIn) can be a conducive and a powerful tool to start (join Facebook groups of similar interest; promote testimonials from past interns; set up an Application Page/landing pages to collect all applications).
  • University Career Centre – Develop partnerships with Universities around the world and create together a well-established international internship program for their students. The emphasis should be on a win-win outcome. Universities are very careful about recommending companies to their students and we urge the steps above. Universities are a sustainable source of interns for every company.
  • Hosting your program – Start your own Internship program if you have resources and interest in it. This may take you some time to build and you will need to allocate much more resources to it from the start but your company will be able to manage all the recruitment process. You can look at great examples like Deloitte’s or KPMG’s programs. Also, note that you are competing with other organizations in the space –a good reason to stand out.
  • Placement Agencies – Outsource this process for agencies specialized in internship programs in China can save you much time.  You are guaranteed the best and hard-working students and Graduates for your organization. They take care of all the difficult tasks and scale up for smooth placement of interns. You can read our article about Why may companies need an Internship Placement Agency? to know more.

At CIP you can join our network for free. We have hosted students from more 356 top Universities in the world. We deal with the details of matching, recruiting and handle visa issues, so you concentrate on the core of your business. You only need to contact our team via [email protected] or click here to fill the form in our website.

Now you have all the basic information you need to develop your internship programs. Are you ready to start? If you want to get even more into this topic you can read our step by step guide (you can have free access to it here) to build the perfect program. After going through it, you should be able to:

  • Understand the importance of hiring interns and if you need them on your team;
  • Know when you need an intern and whether you are ready for it;
  • Design and develop internship programs appealing to International interns;
  • Understand and conduct a recruitment process;
  • Measure interns’ performance;
  • Deal with contract and visa issues;
  • Avoid common mistakes that could ruin your program.

It’s time to add value to your team with motivated and qualified interns! They will bring diversity, new ideas, and a huge will to show what they are capable of. You just need to give them the opportunity to do it.

Do you need help creating an internship program?

Over the years, our Platform (China Internship Placements or CIP) carefully selected young international graduates and College Students for befitting internship placement for companies in China. We place highly motivated, critical thinking, and hungry-for-experience interns who can lead corporate revolutions and are team players. CIP’s China Internship Program participants are noted industry-wide for being the best. Once you join our network of Companies (for free) you will have access to our excellent and qualify interns’ database of about 10,000 applicants. Click here to get in touch with us.

How To Hire Interns

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