Guide to employing interns offers advice to companies

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has published a short guide for employers, containing some helpful hints to consider when employing interns.  

Anthony Walters, head of policy, ACCA Western Europe, said: “Many companies across different sectors have a long history of hiring interns and have reaped the rewards of nurturing new talent. While this guide is primarily aimed at the finance sector the principles can easily be applied to all employers considering hiring an intern. 


Have a purpose in mind 

“To get the most out of an internship – for both the employer and the intern – is it important to be clear on what you want the intern to do, are you hiring them to help out with a specific project for example. All too often employers fall in to the trap of thinking that just offering an internship is enough in itself, but with a bit of simple planning much more can be gained for both employer and intern. 

“From those that have completed an internship our survey found that those who gained most from the experience were one that were given challenging projects and tasks, gave them broad experience of the organisation, given supervision and mentoring and set clear goals and objectives.”

The majority of businesses surveyed offered paid internships, 65 per cent of senior decision makers felt paying at least the minimum wage was the right thing to do. Many felt that by offering unpaid internships they would be damaging the reputation of the business. 


‘Overwhelming’ approval of internships

Walters continued: “Our survey results were clear, the overwhelming majority – 88 per cent of students surveyed would recommend an internship to their family or friends. Properly planned internships are hugely beneficial to both the intern and the company.

“ACCA’s guide is short, easy to understand and easily applicable to all industries. If anyone is planning on hiring an intern I would recommend they look at the guide and check if there is anything they haven’t considered. The more preparation you put in to planning the internships the better the results.”