Top 10 Reasons Why You Need Summer Hires for Your Small Business
Are you planning to open your small business for summer hires?
Great! Because small and medium-sized companies are now reaping their rewards from hiring summer interns over the past few years.
You don’t want to lag behind, do you? Summer hires take on a new meaning when you look at their importance in a solution-based perspective. As a small business, most of your primary needs usually revolve around these two:
1. Finding new employees equipped with right skill set and attitude to help grow your business and reach your future objectives (which are usually larger and more lucrative than your short term goals).
2. Effectively managing your business and workflow to answer immediate needs and objectives.
Summer hires can help you answer to these needs. How? Let’s examine the benefits in greater detail below.
Benefits of Summer Hires
1. A “Bottomless” Pool of Future Employees
Who will be your next manager? Your graphics designer? Your marketing director? Internship programs are year-round recruiting tools that provide you with a bottomless pool of future fulltime employees.
For small businesses, recruiting and hiring new talents can drain a lot of resources. Is there a way around this problem? Yes, there is! And that is by making your company appealing to summer hires when they are out looking for internships. Do you know that you can go viral too? When Intern A had a great time working in your company, word of mouth will eventually cause Interns B to Z who are looking for the “aha” experience to pile up right at your doorsteps. And when it’s time to fill a vacancy, all you have to do is choose the cream of the crop.
2. An Opportunity to Test-Drive a New Talent
Millions of dollars are wasted every year from hiring employees who scored great during the interviews but failed to work as expected. Through summer hires, you have the opportunity to test-drive a new talent — asses his capabilities and interpersonal skills — and to determine whether or not he has the right motivation and attitude to work for your company in a fulltime position. Because of this, you’ll most likely avoid many staffing mistakes and save yourself from losing thousands of dollars because of hiring the wrong person.
3. Increase Productivity
The benefits of summer hires bringing extra manpower to your workplace is already a given. What I like to focus are its effects on your regular employees. With extra set of willing hands, you can keep your current employees from being overburdened with trivial tasks. This short-term support frees up your regulars so they can focus their energy on accomplishing more “high-level” tasks that matter a lot to the company’s success.
4. Low Turnovers
Because you have the opportunity to test-drive your future employees, you will be more inclined to hire someone who loves the work. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) 2009 Experiential Education Survey, 40% of employers experienced less turnovers by hiring someone who came from their internship programs.
5. A Better Perspective
Apart from the extra manpower that they bring, summer hires can also enhance your company’s perspective by bringing new ideas and specialized skills. Their burning enthusiasm can be catalytic too!
6. A Low Cost Labor Force
With summer hires, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on benefits, health care and insurances. Their salaries are significantly lower too! And when they choose to leave, you don’t have to drain your coffers for a severance package. Summer hires don’t go to internships for the money, at least for the moment. What they are after for is experience thus making them the most highly motivated members of your workforce.
7. Find them for Free
Unlike common hiring practices (such as job fairs, caravans, massive advertising campaigns), you don’t have to spend a single dollar in finding summer hires. There are many websites that can help you (like internships.com). You can also partner with local and top colleges for a continuous stream of new talents — all without pulling out a single bill from your recruiting budget!
8. An Opportunity to Give Back
As a small business, you need the support of the entire community in order to succeed. People need to see that you value them beyond the provider-customer realm. Creating a program for summer hires in your community is a great way to give back. You don’t only help students get started, you also enhance the local workforce in the process.
9. A Mutual Benefit
I like to look at internship programs as a mutual relationship where summer hires and employers benefit from each other. By opening your business for summer hires, you help them gain experience, make connections and develop skills. Apart from strengthening their resumes, you also give them an opportunity to know what their interests and abilities really are.
While unpaid internships are also an option, I strongly encourage doing paid internships. This allows economically disadvantaged yet talented students to participate. Paid internships do not only support summer hires financially but also allow them to facilitate a brighter future.
10. Something Only You Can Offer
According to Allison Cheston, a New York career adviser, “Small businesses offer a number of advantages to interns that larger companies don’t.” This is true and you can capitalize on this advantage. While it’s true that most top talent would go to big companies because of bigger salaries and better benefits, summer hires often seek out small and medium-sized businesses. Why? Because it is on smaller business where they get more learning from one on one mentoring and more hands-on training. It is also in small businesses where summer hires feel more appreciated and valued. You’ll never know — they might choose you over the “big names” in the future.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Below are some statistics taken from the 2009 National Association of Colleges and Employer’s Experiential Education Survey.
- 7 % of summer hires from 2007-2008 were offered fulltime positions from their respective companies
- 6% accepted the offers
- 3% of the employer’s entry-level college hires (fulltime) came from their internship programs
For those who are still contemplating whether or not they should open their small business to summer hires, I hope this post was able to help you see the amazing benefits they could bring. Summer hires can really make a difference. Now, the decision is all up to you.