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When you think of ways to help your business grow, hiring current college students might not seem like the best course of action. After all, they are likely to work for your company for a few weeks or months at the most, then return to their studies.

But hiring interns can mean more than having a person handle copying duties or coffee delivery. When used to the best of their talents and abilities, a team of interns can help you accomplish specific tasks and projects, so that you can focus on other matters. If you’re considering taking on an intern or a team of interns for the summer or a semester, weighing the pros and cons can help you make the best choice for your business.

Pro: Interns Are Inexpensive

Bringing on an intern or two is going to be much more affordable for your company than hiring another full-time employee. If you are able to pay interns, they can usually work for much lower rates than a person who is looking for a full-time job. For example, while you might need to pay a full employee $40,000 to $50,000 per year, plus benefits, you can easily pay an intern $10 to $20 per hour, without benefits. Some interns will also work for a fixed stipend, which is much lower than a full-time salary.

Some companies decide not to offer any form of financial compensation to their interns. You can go that route to save even more money, but it’s important to be aware of the legal ramifications of doing so. For example, if an internship is unpaid, it needs to provide some sort of educational benefit to an intern. If you’re not paying an intern, the work he or she does can’t be in place of the work a paid employee would do.

Pro: They Can Help Streamline Your Hiring Process

Internships can be a win-win for both intern and company. When things go well with an internship, it often translates into a full-time position with a company. That not only helps an intern find a job in what can be a tough market. It also helps your company save money and time in the hiring process. When you hire an intern as an employee, you already have an idea of his or her working style and work ethic. You also already know how well he or she gets along with the rest of your team.

Pro: Interns Can Bring a New Perspective to Your Company

Another benefit of bringing on interns is that they can offer a different way of thinking about challenges your company might be facing or might offer insight into the needs or desires of a younger generation, which can help your company expand its customer base or stay current in a competitive field.

Pro: Interns Free Up Your Time

Hiring interns can help to give you and other members of your management team more time to focus on big-picture issues facing your company. Your interns can tackle the tasks and projects that are important, but that maybe don’t require much skill. That’s not to say that you should relegate your interns to doing coffee runs or any other stereotypical internship tasks. You want to give them meaningful work so that your company can advance and so that your interns can actually learn something.

Con: Interns Vary in Maturity Level

One of the drawbacks of working with interns is that some are less mature than others. In some cases, it’s just a matter of ignorance, for example, an intern might not be aware of what an appropriate work outfit looks like or might not realize the importance of showing up on time in the morning. Those issues can be easy to correct and can actually help an intern learn what life is like in the work world.

But there are also some interns who seem to think that an internship is a time to goof around or an excuse not to go to class for a semester.

Con: It Takes Time to Develop an Effective Intern Program

Another potential disadvantage of working with interns is that it does take some time to develop a program that benefits everyone involved. Starting a program can cost you when it comes to effort and time spent on putting together the logistics of the program, not to mention the time spent recruiting interns. But if all goes well, you should only really have to worry about startup time initially. Once your program gets up and running, things should go smoothly and efficiently.

Hiring interns is just one way your company can pursue growth. The team at New Direction Capital can help your business scale and achieve growth. To learn more about how our virtual CFO services can help your company, contact us today.

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