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Low-Cost Labor: How to Use Interns in Your Business

If you've ever needed more labor than your business can afford, you may have considered the option of hiring an intern. Typically a student that is looking for real-world business experience, interns provide you with options that you may not have considered in the past. However, there are some rules that need to be taken into account. Here's a quick summary to help get you started.

To start, it's important to understand the laws in your city and state. There are some restrictions on unpaid internships, though paid internships fall under much more relaxed rules. Generally speaking, to provide an unpaid internship, you need to be providing more benefit to business interns, usually education and experience, than you're receiving, usually free labor.

The training you provide must be equivalent to what the intern would receive in an educational institution, you can't displace your existing employees with an intern, both parties must understand that it's an unpaid internship and the internship doesn't entitle the intern to a future job. If you're concerned that you may not make the grade in all of these areas, offering minimum wage for a paid internship is a viable option.

Now that you've determined what type of internship to offer, consider what you'll have the intern doing at your business. You'll be expected to help teach the intern how to work within the business environment, how to handle interact with superiors and associates, how your business model works and similar experience that will help them succeed in the business world.

Next, you'll want to contact area colleges and universities to let them know that you have internship opportunities available. Contacting the career center or a department office for your industry's area of focus is a good starting place. You'll also develop an internship work plan and document your expectations. After that, interviewing interns and selecting one to work with ends the process.

By understanding what's involved in business internships, you can make a more educated decision about whether it's in your company's best interests to pursue business interns as an option. But what if you're not sure exactly how to make an internship work for your business? The experienced business consultants at AccountRely can help. Please feel free to reach out today to get started


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