Can you tell me more about the 8-hour internship and how it can help our company utilize interns?

August 31, 2010 at 8:03 am Leave a comment

The 8-hour internship is a progressive trend in intern hiring practices. Simply speaking, it refers to a format where interns work only eight hours a week—either on or offsite.

This novel new approach is built on the principle that students can still get valuable work experience—and employers, useful support—by committing a minimal number of hours weekly. In fact, as an employer, you should view the streamlined time commitment not as an obstacle to overcome, but rather as an intrinsic advantage.

In this way, hiring interns within an 8-hour architecture boasts a number of specific benefits for businesses:

  • Higher-energy interns. Students who are not overwhelmed with a full load of classes and a fulltime job are simply going to be more productive.

As an employer, utilizing an alert, inspired intern for a few hours a week may likely net the same output as trying to wring energy and accomplishment out of an exhausted, four- or five-day-a-week worker.

  • Larger applicant pool. Offering an 8-hour opportunity opens up your pool of potential interns by accommodating students who have to work a second job

It’s also an option for interns who may not live nearby; because even if your program is onsite, making a long commute once or twice a week is much more doable than driving a long distance daily. Additionally, since a student is working only approximately eight hours a week, they can come in during off-hours to avoid traditional commuter traffic.

  • Test drive for fulltime interns. As we’ve discussed, one of the major internship advantages is the ability to “test drive” future employees.

However, selecting the right intern is important in and of itself… especially for fulltime, paid positions. Therefore, if the internship is a selection tool for finding permanent employees, the 8-hour internship might be seen as a vehicle for finding fulltime interns.

For example, you might hire an intern in an 8-hour-a-week capacity. If the intern is a fit, you could then offer an increased number of hours—possibly with additional pay and augmented responsibility (or with pay, period, if the previous position was unpaid).

  • Resource reduction. First there’s the obvious: It’s less expensive to pay an intern for eight hours a week than for 40. Therefore, if you’re a small business or just starting an internship program, the 8-hour option is a perfect way to get your feet wet and assess your workload.

In terms of space and equipment, an 8-hour internship means you need not allocate a workspace and computer for fulltime use. 8-hour interns can easily timeshare cubicles and computers on alternating days with other interns or part-time employees.

  • Proof for new programs. If getting financial approval to hire interns is an issue, the 8-hour internship is particularly advantageous.

Implementing this type of internship requires very minimal resources. This lets you start up in stages, proving program ROI incrementally to gain greater buy-in… and, consequently, a bigger budget!

Entry filed under: 8 Hour Internship, intern management, virtual internships.

What exactly is a virtual internship, and how can it benefit employers? How can I best manage interns during the semester when they are also busy with schoolwork?

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This blog is dedicated to employers with a focus on how to hire and manage interns effectively. We will have a variety of experts who will share helpful ideas, tips and more. We invite you to comment, ask questions and share your experiences. You are also welcome to submit written contributions to this blog.

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