The following press clip from the National Federation of Independent Businesses features and includes some helpful Internship advice for businesses:


Dos and Don'ts of Hiring an Intern


An internship can be a mutually beneficial experience for both your company and the intern. As the small business owner, you get an extra helping hand who is eager to impress, and the intern gets a great learning experience. However, there are many gray areas when it comes to hiring interns, so it's important to know all the dos and don'ts.

DO hire interns that you can envision one day being employees.

Jeff Allen, co-founder of, Inc., which is based out of Sagamore Beach, Mass., and includes as part of its network of career sites, says that the high standards will ensure you can trust the employee with valuable company information. "The best case scenario is that the intern that spends time training will turn out to be a real superstar and will return to your team as a full-time employee when they enter the job market", he says.

Bibby Gignilliat, founder of Parties That Cook, a hands-on cooking party and team-building event company based in San Francisco, says it can be a good idea to offer internships to those who might have been passed over for a position. She did it last fall and when the three-month internship ended, she was in a position to hire the intern full-time.

DON'T offer unpaid internships just because you think you can.

Allen says he always recommends a paid internship for legal and ethical reasons, unless it is with a nonprofit. Plus, he reminds that by not paying your intern, you will exclude a segment of the talent pool that can't afford to spend their time in an unpaid internship.

"The most important thing is to provide the intern with a value equal to the time and energy they provide you as an intern," he says. "If you are providing them course credit, valuable training, an excellent entry in their resume or other tangible benefits, then the rate at which you pay the intern might be accordingly reduced if it is in line with labor law." And depending on the work you have the intern do, an unpaid internship might be illegal; review these guidelines for paying interns.

DO make the experience professionally enhancing for the intern.

Allen says you should give interns assignments that are both useful to the company and also provides them with valuable training. "Industry-related research projects guided by a supervisor are excellent tasks for interns, as they utilize the existing skills of most college students while also providing a business with potentially valuable business insights," he says.

DON'T make the internship too flexible.

Gignilliat says it's important to outline a firm commitment up front. "We had one intern who worked a few weeks then called in one day to quit with no notice," she says. "Get a firm commitment of hours with a firm start and end date; offer to pay a stipend or bonus at the end if they fulfill their commitment."