The first steps to hiring an intern and setting up a programme

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The first step to hiring an intern is to get a clear understanding of how an intern will fit into your business – what will their role be and how can they contribute to your company’s goals.

Understanding the needs of your organisation

The first step is to get a clear understanding of how an intern will fit into your business – what will their role be and how can they contribute to your company’s goals. To help you with this you might want to consider the following questions:

  • What does your organisation hope to achieve from the internship?
  • Is your organisation looking to fill a need on a specific project or in a specific role?
  • Will the internship focus on one major project/role, or cover a variety of small projects/roles?
  • At the end of the internship what would you expect the intern to have achieved/delivered?
  • If your organisation is searching for new part-qualified and qualified accountants, how will you frame your internship to identify and develop future accounting talent?

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A few practical tips

  • Who will be responsible for supervising/mentoring the intern?
  • What projects or activities will the intern work on? Be as specific as possible and be realistic with your expectations on what can be delivered in the time the intern is working for your company/ organisation.
  • Talk to others in your company/ organisation when drawing up a work plan for your intern and ensure you have the relevant agreement from senior managers/HR before seeking to recruit.
  • Decide and confirm the logistics – such as where your intern will be based, whether you will need to alter your workspace to accommodate an intern, what IT equipment will they need to be able to carry out their role?

Setting up an internship programme – good planning is key

  • Establish an intern programme coordinator
  • Assign each intern a mentor
  • Set goals and workloads
  • Impart company values on interns
  • Set up an intern schedule and scheduling system
  • Paid vs unpaid? And understanding what both entail, legally and ethically
  • Make intern development a daily commitment
  • Stay in touch

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