Should I hire interns?

There tends to be some hesitation when thinking about hiring interns.

It’s true, as small business owners we NEED help, but we don’t have the bandwidth to take on MORE responsibility. Part of the reason why hiring an intern is so attractive is because it is a low cost option. However, typically this is because the intern will build up their experience and get mentorship from YOU, which means YOU must make a time and energy commitment to train them.

If selected and managed properly, Interns CAN save you time and money. (Tweet that!)

Here are some quick tips.

Create an Application

Include questions about how they would handle certain situations depending on the job description. If it’s for social media, have them look over your site and your social media channels and recommend 10 posts for your Facebook group. This will show you a few things:

  1.     They actually took the time to do the research and provide recommendations.
  2.     They proved that they can think for themselves.
  3.     They have a general understanding of your business.


The next step, that can take some time once you’ve brought on an intern, is training. What I recommend for not only interns but also for employees that you may hire down the road is to start creating training/tutorial videos.

It’s super easy. You can go through the different tools that you use. You might have to walk people through what buttons to use if it’s a project management tool like Asana. Maybe it’s a social media automation program like Edgar. You can host them on Vimeo so that they’re private.

I recommend ScreenFlow for recording your screen. It’s the program that I use for all of my videos. Another option is Camtasia if you have a PC. These programs allow you to record both your face through the camera and also your computer screen. Once you’ve recorded, you can edit out your face or your screen if only one is needed.

That way, as you’re going through and clicking on different buttons, it’s almost like you’re talking directly to the person. You can explain, “In order to create a new post or category in Edgar, this is where you go. This is what you fill out.”

You could also do this with some of your branding to show what images and colors you use or how to use PicMonkey to create images.

Usually, internships are short term. Once you end that relationship and then hire another intern, you can use the same video over and over again. I highly recommend training videos. I think they’re great. You can create a library and then it’s done.

Schedule Check-ins

The third tip for managing your intern is to make sure that you schedule dedicated days and times for check-ins. Depending on their involvement in your business, it could be once every two weeks or once a week. It could also be daily if they’re that involved in what you’re doing. Maybe it’s for a certain project, like a launch.

You can use a conference bridge for the calls, like UberConference. They have both a free and paid option.

Setting up a set time for check ins allows your intern to think, “ OK, I have all of these questions but I’m going to wait to ask until our next meeting,” as opposed to sending you 10 emails because he or she is not sure when you’re going to be able to check in with them again.

Those are three tips that I recommend for hiring and managing your intern: applications, training videos and managing with check-ins.

If you have questions, head over to my Facebook group – The Project Designer Club – and I would be happy to record another video for you. That’s it for now. Have a wonderful day!

xo Nicole



P.S. Do you work with interns in your business? Let me know your favorite thing about having an intern on your team in the comments!

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