For many companies, hiring interns isn’t simply an altruistic decision–a well-developed internship program can deliver many benefits to an employer. Interns are a valuable support resource for current staff, allowing the intern to take on lower-level tasks while full-time employees focus on their core competencies. Interns can also improve company morale by giving current employees the chance to mentor future professionals in their field. For these reasons and many more, more companies are looking to recruit help for the summer months. Let’s dive into how companies can hire summer interns and how it will affect their business.

hr intern
What is an HR intern?

An HR intern is an intern hired to provide administrative support to the human resources department. Typical responsibilities may include updating job listings, screening resumes, updating employee data, running background checks on prospective employees, collecting payroll data, filing documents, and scheduling interviews with prospective employees.

Most Candidates are often college students enrolled in a degree program to pursue a career in human resources. Through the internship program, interns are exposed to the day-to-day workings of a job in HR, giving them real-world experience that they’d be unable to get inside the classroom. This experience often puts them at an advantage after graduation when entering the workforce and beginning their careers.

For companies, hiring an intern often has significant upsides. Research conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers has shown that internship programs are one of an employer’s most effective recruiting tools to identify and hire early-career college graduates. 80% of employers surveyed reported that internships have the greatest return on investment when it comes to hiring recent college graduates, even greater than career fairs or college visits. On average, between 50 and 60% of internship positions convert into full-time employees. For these interns-turned-employees, 75.5% remain employed by the company after their first year, compared to 51.5% of employees who didn’t intern.

Impacts on the HR Department

For the HR department, hiring summer HR help can help current HR staff reduce the administrative burdens they face so they can focus on more strategic initiatives. So what can an HR intern do? These individuals can:

  • Assist in recruitment processes. From updating job descriptions and listings to screening resumes and scheduling interviews with shortlisted candidates, HR interns can help streamline activities in the recruitment process.
  • Support HR operations. With many tedious and repetitive tasks carried out by HR staff, interns can reduce this burden for HR staff by entering employee payroll data, removing duplicate records, uploading resumes, and helping employees with onboarding and other information.
  • Facilitate new employee onboarding. When new employees are hired, temporary summer help can assist in the process by providing these new employees with the necessary resources and documentation needed for the employee’s new role.
  • Provide employees support. The HR department is responsible for answering questions and addressing issues brought to their attention by company employees. Interns can assist by helping to answer employee questions and finding the right support and solutions for issues.
  • Complete administrative tasks. Many administrative tasks are repetitive and take time away from HR staff that could be attending to other, more strategic matters. Interns can help by ensuring databases are up-to-date with applicant information, preparing reports with HR performance metrics, and recording employee leave.

With summer help focusing on these types of tasks, HR staff can focus more effort on planning and implementing strategic initiatives that will drive the business forward.

How to Hire Interns

Deciding to hire interns is one that should not be taken lightly. To ensure both interns and the employer get the most out of the experience, companies should carefully design an internship program that will enable the intern to gain valuable experience while making important contributions to the company.

First, the company should define the goals they’re looking to achieve through the internship program. Next, companies should begin to outline what the internship program would look like, such as the duration of the internship, how many interns to bring on, whether interns will be paid or unpaid, and what tasks these interns will be responsible for. Once the internship program has been defined, companies can post on internship job boards or reach out to local colleges and universities to post the internship on their job boards as well.

Be careful to understand the laws surrounding the compensation of interns. Legally, companies are required to pay at least minimum wage to paid interns and overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week. Unpaid internships are more complicated. The internship is required to:

  • Provide training similar to an educational environment.
  • Be to the benefit of the intern.
  • Work under the close supervision of actual employees.
  • Provide no immediate advantage to the employer.
  • Not make promises of employment after the internship.
  • Establish a clear understanding between the employer and the intern that the intern is not entitled to wages.

Companies should also create a framework for evaluating their interns. As part of the internship program, companies should create clearly defined ways to deliver feedback and assess the performance of interns. Providing helpful, constructive guidance can help these interns develop professionally and prepare for their future in the workforce.

Hiring interns is only a temporary solution to streamline your HR department with additional support. Once the summer ends and your intern returns to their normal schooling, your HR department will be left feeling their absence.

Fortunately, you can turn to an HR outsourcing company like Corban OneSource to keep your HR department running smoothly. Corban OneSource offers comprehensive HR services that include payroll, benefits administration, and HR administration. Our knowledgeable team is based in the US and understands the intricacies of HR compliances and regulations so that you’re always adhering to the current laws governing HR. With a partner like Corban OneSource, you can rest assured that your HR needs are being met efficiently, professionally, and cost-effectively.

If you’d like to learn more about how outsourcing HR can benefit companies with 75 to 6,000 employees, contact our experienced team today.