Recruiting The Right Interns For Your Startup Company

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Recruiting The Right Interns For Your Startup Company



AT LARGE CORPORATIONS, interns may play minor roles and have only rare chances of being given important work. But at startups, interns are taken more seriously, and they quickly become a critical part of the team. Thus, the founders and first employees of startup companies focus on recruiting good interns, helping them learn faster on the job and preparing them for vertical placement as the company grows.

When your startup venture is moving in the right direction, hiring interns is often a never-ending process. Your scope of work increases every day, and it becomes difficult for a small team to handle all of the work load. When you hit that point, you usually start looking for new people and fresh talent. But recruiting talent for a startup company has never been easy. As most startups do not have the luxury of finding experienced people, taking interns on board and grooming them for the long term is the way to go. Now, how do you recruit the right interns for your company?

Being a startup founder, and that too in a relatively new industry in Nepal, I have gone through this challenging process of finding the right people for a startup venture. Here are a few things to consider while selecting interns for your startup:


Prior entrepreneurial experience 

Interns with previous knowledge and experience relevant to your industry can make for great assets for your company. But candidates with prior work experience are mostly exceptions to the rule. However, you can screen right candidates who have handled a variety of applied projects during their college days and have been involved in co-curricular and extracurricular programmes. You can also consider hiring individuals who have previously interned at another place, were actively involved in student clubs and/or are even working on a pet project. These experiences add far more value to your startup than do their GPAs. You will not only find professionalism and better quality of work with such interns, but their entrepreneurial interests will also open up new horizons for the company.



Interest in your company and industry

Most founders do not think this issue is important. They’d rather look for hardcore skills pertaining to programming, designing, marketing or crunching numbers and stay away from finding out whether the person they might take in is actually interested in their industry or not. Whatever fields you are operating in, you need to find someone who’s interested in your industry, in your company and who is passionate to work with your team. It always pays to consider candidates who have done some amount of homework on the industry, understood your company and are clear about the value they can bring on board. If you are able to recruit such people, they will be the ideal candidates to whom you can offer full-time jobs upon their completing their internship.



Right chemistry and culture fit with your team

Regardless of the size of your company, having your intern fit well with the current team is important, both for maintaining a great work environment and increasing productivity in the long run. You will not be able to evaluate this just by assessing applications and conducting personal interviews. To find out whether s/he is a right fit for your team or not, you can involve your team in the interview and selection process, or ask your team members to interact with the prospective intern before making the hiring decision. During the interview, try to learn about their childhood, upbringing, school days, friends circle, hobbies and personal interests, along with their views of their previous workplace, if any. Doing this will help you figure out whether or not s/he can be a good fit with your startup team. When your older members find the right intern in your team, they might even take the lead in mentoring and guiding the intern to grow faster.




Irrespective of the industry you are in, creativity is always a requirement among startup team members. This means your interns should be creative and open-minded people who are always up for exploring and trying out new things. Such interns can come up with innovative ideas and provide new perspectives to your current staff. This will keep your team updated, help them gain more knowledge and encourage everyone to think differently. Interns with innovative mindsets often bring in ideas pertaining to new product development and experiment with new ways to solve regular problems. Also, most creative people are optimistic and have a positive attitude. These qualities contribute significantly to the growth of both interns and company.

* First published in M&SVMAG 



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Guest Saturday, 30 September 2023