By Jordan Young

There has been some controversy recently about unpaid internships, mainly in the fashion industry, but problems can occur in any industry. Be appreciative of your interns’ time and willingness to help your company succeed. If you are an organization that does not possess the financial stability to hire employees then internships are the best option you’ve got. Sure finding people with suitable skills who are willing to devote some of their time can work out, but often these people are extremely busy with their own projects and jobs that pay them and thus take priority.

Here’s how we brought on our first two amazing interns at Boxx.

  1. Craft an accurate description of the work. Be sure to include any of the seemingly tedious tasks but explain how they benefit their learning experience and to the company. Honesty is key. At Boxx we needed interns to help cover such daily tasks as social media and news coverage. They’ve also been amazing at assisting with editorial work, research and even suggesting and contributing excellent content to the site as well.
  2. Remember you are looking for interns. The trade you are making for someone working for free is that they may not possess the skills you need, but they possess the desire to learn the skills you need. Therefore, you may either need to train them directly or guide them to be able to train themselves to complete their work.
  3. Post the internship description on your site and on relevant sites such as Craigslist or school websites that list internships. For the school websites you will most likely need to go through an application process to be able to post positions. Try to go directly for the type of intern you are looking for. In our case we posted to a journalism-school website.
  4. Make sure, when interviewing your candidates to create an honest and open dialogue to ensure that they feel comfortable communicating their needs to you. You want to be clear that this is a mutually beneficial relationship, and that if there is something they’d like to pursue they can come to you for guidance.

The goal is to help them build their resume while working with you. Remember that in essence you are paying them with your time, knowledge, and assistance.