Looking for Motivated, Skilled Employees? Why Interns are Good for Your Organization

Julie Checknita, Employer Services | October-26-11
Skilled Employees


Looking to save money?

Hiring an intern can be a great, cost-effective way of recruiting highly qualified and motivated students or new graduates to complete special projects, assist other employees with short-term assignments or initiate projects that you may not have had the resources to pursue otherwise. Bringing on an eager, recently educated individual is also a great way to obtain a fresh perspective on existing projects.


Looking to develop your existing employee’s management skills while giving back to the community?

Hosting an intern allows junior-level managers within your organization to gain supervisory experience, while allowing your company to give back to your community by grooming a motivated, fresh grad.

Internships can also serve as a powerful interview mechanism, giving you the chance to test out possible permanent employees without the long-term commitment or risk.  It’s the perfect opportunity to put a potential employee’s skills, qualifications and cultural fit to the test, in a real-life work setting. Filling existing vacancies with top performing interns will result in a reduction in recruiting, onboarding and training costs.

Are you interested in hiring an intern, but have a tight budget?

ECO Canada’s International Environmental Youth Corps (IEYC) program provides a wage-subsidy of up to $12,000 for an eligible intern’s entry-level position. Learn more >>

Once you have decided to hire an intern, follow these 3 internship best practices to ensure you create a mutually beneficial relationship and get the most out of your interns:


  1. Recruit interns in the same manner you would recruit an employee: Using a realistic, systematic process to recruit and select interns gives interns an opportunity to get a feel for what they will face once they begin interviewing in the real world. This will also benefit you as an employer by helping you select the best candidates that have the potential to transition to permanent full-time employees.

  2. Devise a developmental plan for your intern:  Interns should be given a clear developmental path with specific outcomes. This should also include an onboarding plan to help your interns assimilate within your organization.

    Similar to a job description, this plan should include the intern’s responsibilities, the meetings they will be expected to attend, the projects they will be involved in, and the time they should spend working with other employees. This will help give these carefully selected interns that you may potentially hire, a clear idea of what it would be like to work in your organization.

  3. Allow your interns to work on a variety of interesting projects:  Interns should not just be handed the trivial, mundane tasks such as filing, photocopying, and printing. While it is okay to pass some of this work on to interns, it should not be the bulk of their work. You should be allowing interns to develop new skills and utilize the skills and knowledge they recently acquired during post-secondary studies. They will likely have some great, fresh ideas if you give them the chance to get involved with a variety of initiatives.

    Allowing interns to offer their creativity and fresh perspective on existing projects will also help you really put their skills to the test and ultimately help you determine whether or not the intern has the potential to transition to a permanent part of your team.

With thorough thought, planning, and a systematic process, both employers and interns have much to gain from internships.