Rachel Ray, development coordinator, communications & donor relations, Oakwood Healthcare Foundation
Originally published in the September 8, 2010 AHP Connect
In these tough economic times, internships can be an inexpensive way to increase productivity and a valuable recruitment tool for your organization. Almost 90 percent of employers say they are very satisfied with their interns and that they extend job offers to almost 70 percent of them.
Here are some key questions and answers about using an internship program as a recruitment tool and to increase productivity in your office.
How will my organization benefit?
Securing support from executives to add a position is not an easy task, but here are some benefits to help your case:
- One of the primary benefits of hiring interns is employee recruitment and retention. You could find someone who is an asset to your team and fits your organizational culture. Hiring a new employee costs an organization an average of $2,658, so if you are able to keep your intern as an employee, you can potentially save the cost of recruiting someone new. Furthermore, your intern has already gone through the orientation stage and is familiar with your organizational structure.
- Interns can help (inexpensively) bridge the gap between missing staff members.
- Interns who become full-time hires are more likely to stay with your organization than
- their co-workers who did not go through the internship program.
- Hiring interns is cost-effective, as they can be assigned non-core tasks, giving gift officers more time to focus on raising funds.
Is my department ready for an intern?
Having an intern undoubtedly affects the whole office. Not only are you changing the dynamics of your team, but you are also adding someone who will need a considerable amount of coaching from the entire staff. Before you hire an intern, make sure your staff is stable enough and willing to take on the challenge of setting aside time to teach your intern. Ensure that your staff knows that while interns can be used for assistance in smaller projects, they are not there to do solely support work and need to learn fundraising tactics as well. The most successful internship program will be valuable for both your organization and the intern.
What level should the candidate be?