Paid internships are worth more than gold

Paid internships.
A lot of businesses don’t like to think of it as another expense. So why bother? Just think about it. What’s the difference between a new hire for an entry level position and an intern? Not a whole lot if there’s going to be OJT (on the job training). Yet, an entry level position requires months of training before they’re ready to actually roll with the big dogs.
If you break it down purely by a cost perspective, a paid intern is worth your while. You spend the same amount of time in training, but they also acquire experience. You’re paying less money in salary but getting similar output of work. In fact, there really isn’t too much that you could lose out…. is there?
Outside of the fact that the intern might not want to come back and work for you after being trained, that would be your only risk. And there are ways to minimize that risk. For instance, offer a 401k package that only starts after the second internship, or one that can only be continued on with if or when they come back to the company. Offer benefits that no one else can offer or ways to incite loyalty. It’s not like you wouldn’t have to put up incentives against your competitors for an employee anyway, so why not catch them young?
In the end, a paid intern is worth the risk and the wait. Financially, you’re saving on salary for the same training for someone that will be fully deployable right when they’re ready to join the workforce on a full time basis. You garner loyalty to your brand and company and allow your current employees to polish their skills in also showing someone the ropes.
And I don’t think anyone would disagree with me on the fact that it’s good to get paid.
Photo Credit: (Somewhat Frank)