News and advice for small business owners, by small business owners.

Call us for free financing advice:

1 (800) Fundera 386‐3372

How You Should Hire Help This Summer

You’ve established that your growing business could be attractive to an intern looking for the right opportunity. Congratulations! If you’re still working that out and assessing, that’s OK too. The next question is to ask how you can hire help this summer.

By now, maybe you’ve evaluated specific responsibilities for the potential new hire, thought about the length of the assignment and considered what you might want to do in terms of compensation. Great! You’re on your way to a cost-effective hiring strategy and the development of an internship program.

This time of year is a great time to get an internship program going, but bear in mind that it doesn’t need to be limited to just the summer. Consider starting with a summer program, and if things work out, look towards the possibility of having a student join your team in the fall, spring, or even year-round as well.

Among other benefits, an internship program can provide your business with a source of highly motivated pre-professionals; these are quality candidates for temporary projects and a cost-effective way to recruit and evaluate potential employees, according to Michael True, Director of the Internship Center at Messiah College in Pennsylvania and author of InternQube: Professional Skills for the Workplace.

With all that in mind, your first real step in the recruitment process is to plan and promote the job opportunity.


Preparing the Job Description and Posting the Opportunity

Think clearly about specific responsibilities, particular projects or departments, and who you want your intern to be reporting to. That way, the goals and expectations will be clearer to you and your team, as well as to the new intern. Once you’ve figured out who your intern will be working with, the assigned supervisor should plan to schedule time with the intern for onboarding, periodic touch-bases and performance review and feedback.

When writing the role description and job advertisement, try to include:

  • Keywords that interns may be searching for, such: “marketing”, “sales”, “gain experience in…”
  • Your desired major/field of study
  • Necessary or preferred experience
  • Schedule expectations (full-time, part-time, etc.) & length of assignment
  • Information about your business.
  • Compensation, whether in terms of money, credit, or other benefits

To source candidates, True suggests teaming up with career or internship centers at colleges and universities that can promote your opportunity. You should also consider attending internship and job fairs, and placing ads on newspapers and websites (we’ve highlighted a few for you here). You might also want to engage with students on the social media sites they frequent, like Facebook or maybe even LinkedIn.


Compensation: Paid Internship Program vs. Unpaid

You may have already decided that you’d like to pay your intern(s) an amount that’s both competitive and works within your budget. If it is a for-profit business, internships should be paid, even if only minimum wage, True said. Paid internships will attract a greater quantity of students, which may help business find a better fit for their particular company.

If you want to look into offering the student college credit to sweeten the experience, or in order to opt for an unpaid position, you can do so by reaching out to a college or university.

“Though there may be some added oversight for employers, such as completing midterm and final evaluations, that relationship provides a healthy accountability between the employer, the student, and the school,” True shared with Fundera.  “ It also opens the door to closer ties with the school, which could yield excellent candidates when the time comes to add a new hire.”

Whichever route you decide to take, figure out what’s best for your business in terms of budget, workforce needs and what will help your team the most. Also, check with your business lawyer and/or universities for more specifics regarding the legal guidelines around hiring interns.

Now, you’re ready to valuate resumes, schedule interviews, and begin what could be a big turning point in your business!


Christina Haberstroh

Christina Haberstroh

Contributor at Fundera
Christina is a small business contributor for Fundera and has experience covering finance, small business news and happenings, and has launched a small business herself.
Christina Haberstroh

Latest posts by Christina Haberstroh (see all)