How to find interns to work for your startup

Find out why hiring interns is a good idea for your startup.

In a startup environment, it’s critical to have as much support from your team as possible and taking on interns is a fantastic option to provide that support. There are many benefits to hiring interns—it’s an affordable way to support your team and start building a pool of future job candidates.

If you’ve never considered hiring an intern for your startup, now’s the time to learn more. It could be just what your company needs to take the next step in its evolution. 

Finding interns for your company

Just like hiring a full-time employee, you want to compare the best internship candidates to improve the likelihood of hiring the right person. 

Looking for specific details on how to hire around the world? Check out our hiring guides. (There are over 50!).

1. Colleges and universities

If you’re looking for an intern you could start by contact the career office at colleges and universities to discuss your startup and its needs. They can help in many ways, such as posting your opportunity online or on a physical job board at the school.  For an even bigger boost, ask the career office about potential contacts in any of the school’s academic departments and alumni services for help promoting relevant internship opportunities to students and recent grads.

2. Online job boards

This is one of the most efficient ways to spread the word about your internship, collect resumes, and connect with talent from all over the globe. Improve your chance of success by creating a detailed job description and sharing it on multiple job boards.

3. LinkedIn

Not only can you post your opening on LinkedIn, but you can also use the professional networking service to connect with interested individuals. The platform is a great way to learn more about a candidate before contacting them for an interview. Their recruiter tools can help you identify and prioritize high-quality matches and track your communications with candidates.

What type of intern is right for my startup?

There are many ways startups can incorporate interns into their roster, so it’s important to understand your company’s needs, goals for the intern, and compensation options.

1. Create a comprehensive job description

Even if you’re not 100% clear about the scope of the intern’s role, you should be able to create a short list of responsibilities. For example, if you need help with marketing, this could include tasks such as:

  • Creating and publishing social media updates
  • Supporting the marketing department with content creation
  • Tracking and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs)

No matter what department needs an intern’s support, the intern should also be meeting with a team leader or mentor and attending meetings as part of their learning experience.

Also, consider whether you need an intern to work on-site or if remote work is possible. If you’re open to a remote relationship, you have the opportunity to recruit talent from across the globe.

2. Outline the commitment

Internships are flexible arrangements, so you can bring someone in part time, full time, or on a per-project basis. There are pros and cons to all these options. For example, part-time and per-project internships allow students to fit in shifts and attend classes during the semester. Full-time internships may be more attractive to students looking for a summer program or to recent grads seeking professional experience.

Clearly outline the time commitment upfront to attract the most relevant applicants. The U.S. Department of Labor has a list of important guidelines to help companies create internships that provide professional and educational value to young workers and avoid misclassifying entry-level employees as interns.

3. Decide on compensation

The unpaid internship is a familiar concept for many people, especially since these positions often go to students. But many companies want to be sure they’re fairly compensating people who contribute to their success, which could mean paying their interns. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Will you pay a flat monthly stipend or an hourly rate?
  • Can you offer college credit instead of cash?
  • Do you have a process for adding interns to your payroll system?

The answers to these questions will help you create a more accurate and comprehensive job description. They’ll also help you recruit interns who are willing to work within your pay parameters. Even if you want to offer college credit instead of cash, offering a transit or parking stipend could be a fair compromise for on-site interns.

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.

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