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Interns and businesses: A mutually beneficial relationship

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Small Business — tracks feedback from small-business owners. We run the poll question each Thursday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Does your business hire interns?

  • Yes — 45.12%
  • No —  40.24%
  • No, but we’re considering doing so — 14.63%

Bringing on an intern for a summer or a semester can offer a variety of benefits for both your business and the young worker.  It’s a great way for your team to get a new member with fresh ideas and perspectives since typically an intern is still in school or a recent graduate.  Plus, you and your more experienced employees can share your expertise while helping the intern to gain work experience.

The key to a great intern relationship is making sure you know how to structure the job.  Interns are not free labor and shouldn’t be assigned all the office grunt work.  The U.S. Department of Labor has a fact sheet offering their guidelines.  For some ideas on how to structure your internship opportunity or post an intern opening, check out community sites such as Intern Queen or visit the microsite created by the Society for Human Resource Management and

Sharlyn Lauby is the HR Bartender and president of ITM Group.