NextGen Blog

Why Your Business Should Offer an Internship Program

With yet another school year coming to an end, many college students are eager to put what they have learned to use. Some will search for a job just to stay busy and make a little money; others will seek employment in their respective field of study to explore a potential work environment for the future. Nonetheless, there will be an abundance of talent for which you, as a small business owner, can capitalize on by offering an internship program.

An internship program is a carefully monitored work experience in which a student has an intentional learning goal. It should include an intentional “work/life experience” plan promoting academic, career, and personal development. Internships typically include learning objectives, observations, reflection, evaluation, and assessment of the student’s skills and knowledge while balancing the intern’s learning objectives with specific organizational needs. A well-organized internship program requires plenty of time, training, and supervision.

Yes, there is something in it for you and your business. Internship programs provide businesses with the opportunity to address short-term business needs by hiring college students that are qualified to fill entry-level positions. Further, interns can help with projects and reduce the workload on more skilled workers allowing professional staff time to pursue more advanced projects. College students tend to provide fresh ideas with the latest business strategies, techniques, and technologies. Therefore, internships are a great way to advance projects that may have stalled due to limited resources.

Internship programs allow small businesses to scout for new talent. They enable businesses to maintain connections with colleges and increases visibility on campuses which is a valuable asset for future recruiting. It promotes community involvement and is an excellent public relations tool because interns often act as advocates and brand ambassadors to other students.

If your business has never offered an internship program, but wants to, or if you have had a program, but did not get what you wanted out of it, let’s talk! Next Generation HR Solutions can design a program that fits the needs of your organization while providing the intern the best possible “work/life experience” your business can offer.

Can You Afford a Bad Hire?

Hiring new talent is a critical function to any small business. Employees are the biggest asset in all companies, regardless of the size, and typically account for 80% of the operational costs of running the business. As a small business, it is important to hire the ‘superstars,’ the right people the first time around. You simply cannot afford to spend valuable resources on a ‘bad’ hire; a disengaged employee is detrimental to the culture you are trying to build within your organization. Additionally, most small businesses do not have the luxury of repurposing a ‘bad’ hire to see if they are a fit elsewhere, and struggle with the decision to terminate the employee. Hire the right talent and they will help you succeed; make the wrong hire and they will drain your resources.

Hiring the “Superstar”

When it comes to hiring the ‘superstar,’ you will want to focus on finding candidates that are qualified and meet the position requirements you outlined in the job posting or advertisement. Small business owners tend to juggle multiple facets of the business, and when it is time to hire help we sometimes forget to clearly identify what we need. Often, this leads to hiring in haste versus implementing a hiring process that helps us find quality candidates to meet our needs. We tend to look toward family and friends for help. While family and friends may have willingly offered their support when starting our business, it does not mean they are ideal employees. Similarly, referrals from existing employees or family and friends are great, but you should consider the referred candidate’s qualifications against the job posting and your specific needs before hiring.

Why We Hire Badly – And The Cost

Companies tend to hire bad employees because they filled the position too quickly; they did not test or research the candidate’s skills, they did not perform adequate reference checks, or it just did not work out. A bad hire can be costly to small business owners, and most say a bad hire cost them between $25K – $50K[1] because of settling for candidates that were not qualified. Small business owners may find the hiring process is time consuming and wish they had help finding the right person. The biggest impacts of a bad hire are it lowers staff morale, loss in productivity, and monetary costs. When disengaged employees do not pull their weight, good employees get burned-out and usually leads to a loss of key employees. Poor performers lower the bar for others and bad habits spread like a virus.

What to Do Once a Bad Hire is Discovered

If your organization offers an introductory period policy and you discover the new hire is not a good fit, you can act to terminate within the introductory period. However, you should document the reasons you are terminating, and you should discuss these reasons with the new hire. If the hire has worked through the introductory period, or your company does not offer such a policy, then you or their immediate supervisor should make every effort to manage the employee to the position they were hired to fill. This is accomplished by providing clear expectations, goals, and timelines. Documentation related to the new hire’s performance will be important to defend your decision to terminate.

Conclusion

As mentioned, employees are the biggest asset to all companies and hiring the ‘superstar’ is critical to your business operations. You simply cannot afford to dispense resources to hire an employee that wreaks havoc on you, your business, and your employees. Implementing a hiring process that helps you identify your hiring needs, produces quality candidates, and helps you hire the right person the first time, is imperative to you and your business’s success.

[1] Jansons, Pete (2016, June 6) The Hidden Costs of Bad Hires on Small Businesses. Retrieved from CareerBuilder https://resources.careerbuilder.com/small-business/the-hidden-costs-of-bad-hires.

Do I Really Need HR?

It is often up for debate as to whether a small business needs Human Resource (HR) representation. Ask a variety of entrepreneurs, owners, C-level executives, and HR professionals and chances are you will receive varying answers. Many companies with less than 20 employees assume they do not need HR. However, size is not the only issue to think about. You should determine the types of employment services needed, the requirements for managing your employees, and the type of culture you want to build. Next, consider how partnering with a professional HR advisor might save you time by helping implement employment processes and procedures that increase productivity and profitability.

HR is a must

No matter how small or large…..if your company has employees, HR functions are a must have for your organization. It is certainly worth asking, what is the most effective and efficient manner to deliver HR services that help you manage your employees, while receiving sound advice to mitigate risk. While many small businesses outsource transactional services like payroll, taxes, and benefits administration, it is also an advantage to partner with an HR professional who is knowledgeable, skilled, and trained to deliver high value consultation for your human capital management needs.

Don’t underestimate the need for HR

Problems are inevitable in the workplace, and not everyone knows or understands HR and how to handle the complexities of employment when conflicts arise. HR professionals are trained to know how people think, recognize behavioral risks, and what motivates employees. They know how to identify potential risks and implement processes and procedures to mitigate those risks. [1]]“Because so many people are ‘practicing’ HR without the requisite knowledge and experience, we find ourselves as a society dealing with situations like #MeToo [the movement to expose and end sexual harassment], expensive turnover, pay disparities, and other workplace challenges – all of which make it harder for businesses to achieve success.”

Partner with a HR certified professional

Partnering with an HR professional who holds certifications from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and/or Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) ensures that the professional providing HR services or advisement is competent, skilled, and trained in the HR profession to do so. HR’s primary value, particularly in the current economic environment, is to hire and retain the right human capital while helping to mitigate risk. If an organization wants to ensure they optimize their investment in human capital, they should engage with a highly competent HR professional.

Conclusion

HR functions are a critical part of day-to-day operations for any organization, regardless of the size. The best companies understand that their employees are their most valuable asset and make the necessary investments in their human capital to attract and retain top talent. Partnering with a certified HR professional that can assist with handling the simplest to the most complex employment issues will save you valuable time while increasing productivity and profitability.

[1] Gorlin, Rena, J.D. (June 14, 2018) SHRM Leader to Employers: ‘Don’t Just Prefer – Require’ Certification. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/pages/shrm-leader-to-employers-don%E2%80%99t-just-prefer-require-certification.aspx

 

NextGen HR Serves Small Businesses In:

West Virginia
Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan Counties

Virginia
Clarke, Frederick, and Loudoun Counties

Maryland
Frederick and Washington Counties

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Why Your Business Should Offer an Internship Program

With yet another school year coming to an end, many college students are eager to put what they have learned to use. Some will search for a job just to stay busy and make a little money; others will seek employment in their respective field of study to explore a...

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