(Editor’s note: Part 2 of 2)

The Southern Arizona Chapter of SCORE has worked with business and art-student intern programs successfully for the past eight years, and your small business can too.

Internships provide many benefits. They help you meet your immediate work needs and you get to test-drive potential future employees. They boost your brand and demonstrate that you give back to the community and its students.

According to Caron Beesley, a small-business owner and blogger with SBA.gov, here are some things to consider when using interns:

  • Paid or unpaid internships. The average hourly rate for bachelor’s degree level interns is $16.35 (www.naceweb.org). Unpaid internships are also an option, but the U.S. Department of Labor puts firm limits on the work that can be performed: unpaid interns cannot do work that contributes to your business operations, but they can shadow employees and perform duties that don’t have a business need.
  • Look at your business and how you and an intern can mutually benefit from working together. An internship is different than a full-time, part-time, or volunteer position because it offers a learning experience for the intern.
  • The experience should complement the student’s field of study and be structured to meet learning goals, with a supervisor who acts as a mentor.
  • Contact the Industrial Commission of Arizona (www.ica.state.az.us, or 2675 E. Broadway, local phone 628-5459) regarding our state’s worker’s compensation issues, workplace safety, harassment and discrimination laws, benefits, etc.
  • Write a job description and include the specifics about the role, responsibilities and learning opportunities because it helps attract the right talent. If you’re hiring a marketing intern, one of the objectives will provide the intern with a basic knowledge of email marketing best practices.
  • List daily responsibilities and any short- or long-term projects. Specify work hours, business ethics, code of conduct, new hire orientation and performance evaluation. Everything you do for a regular new hire should also apply to an intern.
  • In addition to contacting local schools and colleges and posting the position on your website, take advantage of specific intern-recruitment sites like Internships.com, AfterCollege.com, CareerRookie.com, Youth.jobs and MonsterYouthJobs.com

For more of Beesley’s advice, go to tinyurl.com/kxaua9b

Diane Diamond is the vice president of media relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit group that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment at several locations. For more information, go to www.southernarizona.score.org, send email to mentoring@scoresouthernaz.org or call 505-3636.