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Considerations before recruitment

When considering recruiting to a permanent or short-term role such as internships, there are likely to be some practicalities to think through. The Careers & Enterprise team would be happy to support you in addressing these considerations.

  • Do you need support on a specific project or several smaller projects?
  • What will their role be within this?
  • If you are offering work experience, what are you hoping would be achieved by the end of it?
  • What support, training and development can you offer?
  • Will you pay minimum wage or a higher rate of pay?
  • Who will be their line manager?
  • Are there enough resources to accommodate an additional member of staff, with the relevant IT equipment available?

When considering your position and subsequent job advert, be realistic about what can be achieved given the likely skills of the prospective student or graduate. Also think about the type of opportunities that you would like to offer and how it might suit your business and the applicant as well. For instance, a flexible part time role during term time, as supposed to a summer internship might better suit your business needs. If you are planning to offer work experience, the length of the experience should also be considered. Use this information to create a developmental work plan detailing specific tasks, outcomes, and training opportunities. Planning this before recruitment begins means that you will have a clear focus on what skills and attributes you need the successful candidate to possess and allows you to clearly identify what development opportunities you can offer the candidate. Contact our Employer Services Manger Esther Banev if you would like to discuss your business needs and how our students can match your match your requirements.

A student working at a lab, wearing gloves and pouring a liquid onto a tray

If you are offering a work experience (e.g. internship, placement year)

If you are planning a work experience, there are some additional considerations that you might wish to address.

  • Identify suitable projects that a student or graduate could assist with.
  • Alternatively, an intern’s workload could be spread across departments, which would give an insight into how all teams within a SME contribute to the overall business objectives
  • Establish a clear plan of SMART objectives to be achieved at specific points within the internship. Allow for the fact that the intern will need to get to know key people
  • What relevant training can you offer? This can be both formalised training and work shadowing members of your team – establish meetings and include these within the plan
  • The work plan does not need to last the length of the internship; you could create monthly plans and continually review them to include new objectives for the intern in line with the organisation’s aims/changing priorities
  • Interns are there to learn while they are working – keep them engaged by reviewing their progress regularly to move both your organisation and their career forward.