Creative busi­ness con­sul­tant Zena Bruges shares the com­mon er­rors em­ploy­ers make when hir­ing in­terns

Creative busi­ness con­sul­tant Zena Bruges shares com­mon er­rors em­ploy­ers make when hir­ing in­terns

Computer Arts - - Contents -

For any creative busi­ness, in­terns are a great way to in­ject new ideas and tal­ent into the busi­ness. And for the young and as­pir­ing, be­ing an in­tern is the per­fect way to get some real-life work ex­pe­ri­ence. Plus, let’s face it, it’s where many of us started out.

But there are some pit­falls to hir­ing in­terns, and as a small or large em­ployer, the last thing you want to do is earn bad press by hir­ing some­one and fail­ing to treat them prop­erly, ei­ther fi­nan­cially or op­er­a­tionally. Get­ting a rep­u­ta­tion for tak­ing ad­van­tage of in­terns could re­flect badly on your im­age as an em­ployer and as a busi­ness, mean­ing can­di­dates may be less at­tracted to the com­pany, and clients may in turn be de­terred from buy­ing from you in the fu­ture.

So, to make sure you fol­low best prac­tice and stay on the right side of the law, I’ve out­lined the four pit­falls to avoid when tak­ing on an in­tern:

1. Get the fi­nan­cial facts

Don’t as­sume that all in­tern­ships are un­paid. In fact, ac­cord­ing to em­ploy­ment leg­is­la­tion, there are just four types of in­tern­ship that can be un­paid: stu­dent in­tern­ships for less than one year, school work ex­pe­ri­ence place­ments for the un­der 16s, vol­un­tary work for a char­ity, or work shad­ow­ing an em­ployee where no real work is car­ried out. Un­less your in­tern­ship falls un­der one of th­ese cat­e­gories, it needs to be paid.

2. Min­i­mum money

Fail­ing to pay your in­tern the min­i­mum wage is an­other com­mon er­ror. Wage rates change every year and so, of course, does your in­tern’s age, so it makes sense to check rates yearly and pay your in­tern ap­pro­pri­ately. If you fail to do so, you could face hefty fines or even end up in court, and of course, risk dam­ag­ing your rep­u­ta­tion.

3. Know the law

You might think that em­ploy­ment leg­is­la­tion doesn’t ap­ply to an in­tern, but once an in­tern starts do­ing paid work for an em­ployer, they may qual­ify as an em­ployee and there­fore be el­i­gi­ble for the same pro­tec­tion.

4. Don’t set­tle for se­cond best

An­other com­mon er­ror is just ac­cept­ing the first per­son who ap­plies for the role. You have every right to be picky when tak­ing on an in­tern, whether they are paid or un­paid. Don’t ac­cept them if they are not up to stan­dard, and make sure you in­ter­view and se­lect the most mo­ti­vated and de­serv­ing can­di­date as you would a nor­mal role.

Avoid mak­ing th­ese er­rors and who knows, your next in­tern might just end up be­com­ing your star em­ployee. What’s your ex­pe­ri­ence of hir­ing in­terns? Do you agree with Zena’s ad­vice? Tweet your thoughts to @Com­put­erArts us­ing #De­signMat­ters

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