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3 Reasons Paying your interns increases ROI

It is estimated that more than 40%  of internships are still unpaid. Here are 3 reasons Ampersand wholeheartedly believes paid internships provide more value to both an intern and a company than unpaid internships.

More Qualified Applicants

Today, young professionals are taught to seek roles that value their work. Offering paid internships is undoubtedly the single best way to show your appreciation for the impactful contributions interns make on your business. 

A note on the opportunity & diversity gap: Many first-generation college students and minority students cannot afford to work for free, leaving unpaid opportunities to the more privileged community of young professionals. This keeps meaningful opportunities to launch their careers out of reach for many minorities, and further contributes to the lack of diversity in senior-level positions in companies throughout the US. A commitment to diversity should start with paying your interns, because tomorrow’s leaders are today’s interns!

Your Company Ranks Higher on their Priority List

Young professionals carry the load of trying to satisfy their personal career goals, societal standards, and family expectations. In order to achieve this, many students find themselves juggling  more than they can handle, which eventually leads to dropping some of those responsibilities — and the first ones to go are unpaid internships.

Even with unpaid internships, you are investing company resources to coach them on tasks and processes to successfully complete their work, and are providing software and tools so they can get the job done to your standards. 

When you pay your interns, they will be less likely to drop their responsibilities with your company, which helps secure the investments you have made in them. Not only will they be learning about the industry,  building up their portfolio/ resume and gaining more financial stability, but they will also help your team streamline important initiatives and complete projects that have likely been on hold for far too long. 

Trial-to-Hire Opportunities

As an employer, you get to work with an intern for a specific amount of time. During this time, your intern will get familiar and comfortable with the work, and you will get to know their abilities and sense of drive without the same long-term commitment required when hiring a full-time role from the start.

Don’t know what we mean? See for yourself:

  • According to study by the Wharton School of Management, despite external candidates receiving a higher salary (18-20% higher), they tend to receive lower performance review scores. Reasons for this include a lack of culture fit and the learning curve that comes with training.
  • It can take up to 3 months to train an external hire, compared to 2-3 weeks with an internal hire.
  • External hires are 61% more likely to get fired than internal hires.

How do you create a successful trial-to-hire experience?

In order to achieve a successful trial-to-hire experience, however, you as a manager have to make sure your interns are gaining valuable work experiences and receiving projects that contribute to the success of the company. While grunt work may very well contribute to a company’s success, it will not keep your intern engaged or excited about their position with your company. 

Here are our quick tips for creating meaningful experiences:

  • Ask and listen about their interests, career goals, and skills they want to refine
  • Find projects that exercise their current skills and flex skills they want to gain
  • Give a variety of work rather than one type of task on repeat
  • Communicate frequently, be open to suggestions, and start these steps over again

In a nutshell, offering paid internships creates more meaningful work opportunities for underserved communities and helps your company attract top, new talent. It also shows appreciation for your interns, which in turn leads to a more harmonious and fruitful work environment.