Is taking on an intern more effort than it's worth?

Has anyone had experience of working with an intern/volunteer staff? How much time do you put into training them? Do they then take these skills elsewhere wasting all the resources you’ve invested in them? How do you screen candidates and find the ones with the most potential?

Great question Bel - I might add, do you guys take on interns primarily to support your work, to give them experience (with the expectation that they will leave after a few months) or a mix of both?

With my other hat on! I’ve been programme managing a year in industry project with computer science students. Essentially reintroducing a year in industry but providing mentoring and employability training. Taking on an intern for a 12month period can help a company to develop and create the supply chain of talent for their business. Of the students I’ve been working with, 80% returned to their original employer on graduation - a huge benefit for the employer as they have a deeper insight into the company culture, strategic vision, growth needs, leadership style and generally hit the ground running. It requires the compay to invest time, resource and energy in the undergraduate/intern but the long term benefits can boost productivity dramatically… the key is having a good mentor in place to help both the intern and the employer!

That’s a very encouraging statistic. It could be a great way for small event companies to build a team and grow, I guess it just comes down to having the time to dedicate to training the interns. It’s a challenge for small business owners who are already juggling so many things. Bit of a catch-22.