top of page
  • evan73728

How To Hire An Intern Who Can Do More Than Order Coffee

Gone are the days of interns fetching coffee and running errands for managers and higher-ups. Today, organizations recognize the significant potential interns have, not just for their businesses but in the prospective intern’s career. However, finding interns who can make that kind of impact requires a strategic approach to the recruitment process. By identifying business development potential in candidates, following a step-by-step guide to recruitment, and enhancing internship opportunities for career preparation, organizations can harness the total value interns bring to the table.

From Coffee Runners To Valued Team Members

What was once seen as a formality has now transformed into a mutually beneficial relationship for interns and organizations. Organizations need to adapt their mindsets to hire interns who can make a meaningful impact on business development. Rather than viewing internships as simple low-level positions, businesses should recognize them as opportunities to identify and nurture future talent.

Recognizing the Potential

When looking for interns who can actively contribute to business development, it is crucial to identify candidates with the appropriate qualities. Look for those with a strong work ethic, exceptional communication skills, and a proactive attitude. When interviewing, try to look for these attributes:

  • Relevant Skills - Assess a potential intern’s skills to ensure they align with your organization's needs. Look for qualities like critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and adaptability.

  • Entrepreneurial Mindset - Seek interns with an entrepreneurial mindset, as they are more likely to identify growth opportunities, embrace challenges, and think outside the box.

  • Leadership Skills - Look for candidates who have demonstrated leadership potential through previous experiences, such as leading student organizations or assuming responsibilities in past roles.

  • Passion - Evaluate candidates' enthusiasm for the industry and willingness to learn and grow. Passionate interns are more dedicated and resourceful in their contributions and will likely be a greater asset to the future growth of your business.

Recruiting To Propel Growth

To ensure that internships contribute to the growth of the business and the individual, organizations should follow a structured approach to recruiting interns.

Start with clear goals and expectations. Clearly outline the objectives and expectations for the internship role. Define specific projects, tasks, and skills in which the intern will be involved. Craft compelling job descriptions highlighting the potential for growth, learning, and hands-on experience.

Utilize various recruitment channels to reach potential intern candidates, including university career centers, online job boards, and professional networking platforms. During the interview process, conduct interviews that focus on the candidates' skills, experiences, and alignment with the organization's values and goals. Include behavioral and situational questions to gauge their problem-solving and decision-making abilities.

During onboarding, provide a comprehensive process to familiarize interns with the organization's culture, policies, and procedures. Assign mentors or supervisors to guide and support interns throughout their internship. Be sure they are given regular feedback that will help them improve their skills and performance.

Enhancing the Internship Experience

By enhancing internship programs, businesses can help interns develop essential skills and gain practical experience, setting them up for future success. Consider the following strategies:

  • Structured Learning Opportunities - Design internship programs with structured learning opportunities such as workshops, seminars, and training sessions to enhance interns' knowledge and skills.

  • Networking - Encourage interns to build professional networks by connecting them with mentors, industry experts, and colleagues who can provide guidance and support.

  • Performance Evaluations - Provide interns with meaningful performance evaluations that highlight their strengths, improvement areas, and future career growth recommendations.

  • Access to Resources - Ensure interns can access industry publications, online courses, and professional development materials to further their learning outside the internship.

By incorporating these elements into internship programs, organizations can ensure that interns receive comprehensive career preparation, making them more valuable assets in the long run.


Internships have evolved from menial tasks to powerful catalysts for business development, growth, and career preparation. By identifying business development potential in candidates, following a structured approach to recruiting interns, and enhancing internship programs, organizations can hire interns who make significant contributions beyond the mundane. Embracing the evolving role of interns benefits both businesses and aspiring professionals, fostering growth, innovation, and a robust talent pipeline. The next time you recruit an intern, look beyond stereotypes and discover the untapped potential for excellence.

If you are looking for a professional in Human Resources that can help provide a concise plan to help you find the right intern and ensure a mutually beneficial experience for your business and them, contact Executive Compass, an executive-level HR specialty firm strategically designed to navigate the business in today’s complicated and ever-changing working world. From recruitment and onboarding to employee benefits, organizational development, and employee relations, there’s no step in the business life cycle that Executive Compass is not equipped to handle. Contact Executive Compass by, calling 760-504-6352, or emailing

14 views0 comments


bottom of page