HR Interns-Poll

I’ve been pondering a post on interns by Matt Cholerton from Everyone Hates HR, and I have some questions. I am very curious about the use of HR interns. I’m relatively young in my HR career, and I often think back and wish I had some sort of experience as an HR intern. I’d like to delve into the topic of HR interns and HR internships, but I’d like to know a bit more about your experience.

In my (totally unqualified) opinion, I think that established pros should be actively seeking relationships with HR students and entry level HR professionals in order to provide job opportunities through internships. This might be absolutely crazy, but I can still remember my job search. It was very difficult. Much of my time was spent ignoring jobs that required a shred of experience, because I didn’t have any. An HR internship could have opened a lot of doors for me at that time. I plan to write on this at length in the near future, but for now, I’d like to know more about you and your organization.

This simple poll is… Well, it’s simple. It doesn’t really give me much information. If you could elaborate in the comments, I would greatly appreciate it.

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HR Intern Poll

[polldaddy poll=”2328689″]

Photo by sh1mmer

8 thoughts on “HR Interns-Poll

  1. Lisa Rosendahl

    Hi Bem I’ve worked with interns a few times and have had great experiences both times. I love the initiative and drive to learn, like being able to mold and shape (just a tad) and I always learn something myself. Making an internship experience a valuable one takes my whole staff so whether or not I bring an intern on depends on the experience level of my staff, their willingness to train, our workload and overall, the committment to make the experience rewarding for all. Interns Rock!
    .-= Lisa Rosendahl´s last blog ..Friends, Here’s To You! =-.

  2. Matt

    Hey Ben! I’m very pleasantly surprised that I made anyone ponder even just a bit :-) Thanks for support – you are great community leader!

    As Lisa eluded to, having interns means you are willing to train and invest time. I think the time burden or lack of planning is the primary reason why people don’t want interns or find them unsatisfying or frustrating if they have them.

    However, with some thought and prep interns can be amazing – a boost to productivity, creative thinking, and energy (not to mention recruiting).

    If you can’t invest lots of time, one idea is defining a (big) task or challenge and listing the parameters/info you know about the task and letting them go at it independently, giving a presentation back to you. You could have them go at some of your ‘wish list’ items – like redoing the Handbook or organizing an aspect of your employee files :-). Things that might seem ‘boring’ or busy work often have a lot of learning potential for someone that hasn’t been exposed to ‘real work’. After being around and working deeply on a project they can often suggest projects that keep them busy and you will have a much better idea of ways you can use them effectively day-to-day.

    There are a couple of our summer interns starring here:

    1. Ben Post author

      Matt, you have always written one of my favorite blogs. I really enjoy seeing things from the smaller organization side of HR. The project idea is a fantastic one, and I will be mentioning that in my upcoming post on internships. Thanks for another great idea!

  3. Robin S

    I echo the sentiments of both Lisa and Matt; I have so enjoyed having interns. It has provided learning opportunities all-around – for both the intern AND myself and my staff. I was very pleased when last year’s intern, who graduated in May, landed a super HR gig within 1 month of her job search.

    One day, as part of the internship, I scheduled an “HR field trip” for our department. Since we are a mid-sized company, I wanted my group to see a larger HR Department in action. So we scheduled a visit one afternoon to a larger company in town, with close to 1,000 employees and, obviously, a much larger HR staff. The HR Director took the time to explain all the day-to-day functions of this high-turnover/high-volume recruiting industry, we toured their HR recrods department (I wanted to prepare my intern for a potential 1st HR job that no one likes, but is a necessary evil), and we generally gave them a feel for how HR, while transferable between industries, can be vastly different.

  4. Alex J.

    Wow! This looks so neat! I am an intern right now, and I get treated like a slave. My boss and his cronies walk all over me all the time, and I never get to participate in any of the “good” projects. Any suggestions?

  5. Matt

    Hey Alex J. – Ah, that sucks! No good. One suggestion would be to see a need or a project that could use some work – you probably see areas in need way more than they do! Then, without telling them (and while also finishing your grunt work) rock that project out hard. Research it, plan, and present it to them. “Check this out guys, in my free time I identified a massive need you have and here is ways to solve it, along with my suggestion and solution here”. You demonstrate the value of putting you on “good projects”. If you don’t feel you are given the opportunity to do rewarding work after that (then put that project in your portfolio) and find another job!
    .-= Matt´s last blog ..Engagement =-.

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