Having an intern on staff can be awesome - for both you and your agency. Hiring a high school or college student to work in your office as an intern is a wonderful recruiting tool for your agency, providing temporary help for your staff and exposing the student to the career opportunities available in an independent agency. It is a win-win! However, we understand that the process of hiring and onboarding an intern can be daunting, so we've created a simple step-by-step guide to help you through it!
1. Determine the internship needs of the agency.
What type of work is needed? What type of projects need to be completed? What will the length of the internship be? Will they be full-time or part-time? What qualifications, skills or attitudes are desired? Should your intern be studying a certain major? Will the internship be paid or unpaid? These are all important and necessary questions you will need to ask yourself at the beginning of this process.
Tip Students generally need 35-40 hours of work/credit hours if the internship is for credit. This varies by institution.
Tip In almost all cases it is best to offer a paid position, if possible.
DID YOU KNOW? Internships can be broken down into two categories:
1. Internships for Credit
Each university is different, but offering an internship for credit is an added bonus in the eyes of students! This can make your internship more desirable over others, since students see it as a way to both earn credit and gain experience, but be sure to check the requirements specific to the college or university that you want to recruit an intern from.
2. Internships for Work Experience (not for credit)
A work experience internship is still highly desired by students, as they typically want to gain the most experience possible to help build their resume. Even though this category of internship is not for credit, most universities will still “vet" the internship opportunity to make sure it will provide a positive and rewarding experience for the student.
2. Create the internship job description and post the internship.
KAIA has several sample Intern Job Descriptions to help get you started:
Account Manager Intern Technology Intern Marketing Intern Accounting Intern
Before you post the internship, there are a few factors you'll have to determine first: your application procedure and who your agency contact will be.
Tip Looking for a place to post your job opening? Visit our Insurance Careers page.
Tip Local universities & colleges, along with insurance and business schools, are more great resources.
3. Establish your Hiring Team.
It is important to figure out who will be handling the hiring process. Who will look through resumes? Who will conduct the interviews? Who will make the ultimate hiring decision? Figuring this out early will help you simplify the process in the long run.
4. Screen your candidates.
Review the applications and select candidates worthy of a deeper look. Then, contact them for an interview.
5. Interview the finalists.
Here are a few sample interviews for you to use as your guide throughout this important step in the process:
Your DIY Tool Sample Interview Form
Your DIY Tool Sample Interview Evaluation
6. Provide an offer letter.
Once you've selected your ideal candidate for the internship, you'll have to provide them with an offer letter and confidentiality agreement.
Your DIY Tool Sample Offer Letter
7. Onboard your intern.
Properly onboarding your new intern is a very important first step in creating and fostering a good relationship. The onboarding process is important because it engages your new intern early on, gets him or her familiar with the company culture and job priorities, encourages open communication, and most importantly builds trust and forges good connections early on. There are three priorities when it comes to onboarding: Orientation, Mentoring and Communicating Objectives.
Tip Appoint an agency mentor, preferably a manager
Your DIY Tool Sample Intern Orientation
Evaulating your intern's performance is very important in ensuring that both of you are getting what you need out of this new relationship. The agency mentor should provide routine feedback to the intern and should obtain the intern's evaluation of the experience at the end of their time with your agency. You should also routinely check how you are meeting the potential requirements of their school if they are completing the internship for credit.
Your DIY Tool Sample Student Intern Evaluation