Internships represent an excellent way to augment your recruitment strategy. It also provides you with relatively cheap access to talented people. You can get some grunt work done, meet smart people and maybe develop some promising future prospects.

The project comes with a cost, of course. The interns are raw, prone to mistakes and never quite as qualified as you’d imagined.

Even some of the nominal benefits come with unexpected drawbacks. Interns are curious, which can invigorate an office atmosphere. But that means they ask a lot of questions, which can slow down productivity. They are charmingly eager. But that means they have a tendency to get involved in projects beyond their skill level.

Because of all this, overseeing an internship can become a complicated production to manage.

With the drawbacks, it makes sense to try to limit your exposure. The complications might convince you to pass on the concept altogether. Or you might try to limit the cost by offering only unpaid slots.

However, you could end up missing out on a lot of value. While offering paid internships represents a relatively large investment of time and resources, a properly run program can yield significant returns.

Better Choices

The immediate value of having an intern comes from their ability to provide cheap grunt work. Copying documents. Grabbing coffee. Sorting files.

With that in mind, why should you pay them? You can get almost anyone to do those low-level jobs, so why not get them done for free?

The problem is the long-term benefits of an internship program only ramp up when the people who fill those spots exhibit high-level talent. By providing a paid internship, your program becomes more competitive, more appealing for the best candidates.

Broader Demographics

Another benefit of a paid internship program comes from the ability to draw a broader pool of candidates. In an unpaid scenario, you’re forced to deal almost exclusively with college kids whose living expenses are covered by their parents. Who else can afford to accept a gig that doesn’t come with a paycheck?

By offering compensation, you get a wider selection. You get applicants from later in their careers, who might have more developed skills and might be able to contribute more meaningfully. You might also draw in older candidates with families or prospects from different socio-economic backgrounds, further expanding your recruitment possibilities and adding to office diversity.

Motivation to Go Beyond

Interns tend to be an enthusiastic breed under any circumstances. They want to impress, that you’ll give them the opportunity to gather references and experiences.

But in an unpaid circumstance, you have to rely on this natural self-driven motivation. You don’t have much managerial leverage. Offering a wage provides more incentive.

It also sets the stage for a potentially longer-term relationship. If you find someone you’d like to keep on past the end of the internship, at least some of the funds are already available for the position.

Having different avenues for recruitment enhances your ability to find the best available talent. Internships can feed into this goal. Partnering with a strong staffing firm provides another effective strategy for improving your recruitment. Contact the leading accounting recruiters at PrideStaff today to find out more.

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