There are a lot of stats in this infographic about the continued existence of unpaid internships that left us more than a little bit dumbfounded. The one that stands out the most? I can’t make that call on my own. My personal picks?

  1. Paid interns are happier and more engaged.
  2. Paid internships are more attractive to a more diverse range of candidates.
  3. Oh, and you will avoid costly lawsuits. That’s right, lawsuits. Plural.

The future of the internship is now. The choice to compensate or not to compensate is still up to you, just make sure you pick your battles carefully.

IM-Intern+Compensation

Comments


  • valentino14

    The only exception for an unpaid internship is an employer who truly cannot afford to pay for one. However, the moment they can pay for that internship THEY SHOULD PAY for that internship. Why? If an employer has any self-respect for their brand they should be reminded that college interns are invested in getting on with their career trek. And along the way they are going to remember their interfaces with those employers they come
    in contact with.

    Good – Bad – or Indifferent – those internship experiences will be indelible and will bring forth mini-ambassadors and mini-critics. So show some modicum of respect for the intern who, by in large, is not a complete idiot. Their sweat equity has value, particularly if the employer knows how to manage and leverage their work effort. Pay your interns – challenge and grow your interns and reap the value and adulation for the partnership. Don’t pay them, or short-pay them – give them mundane jobs and reap the caustic reaction for a time wasted and an experience that wounded a relationship that had such potential to be mutually valued.

    And Interns — put in an honest day’s work and earn the pay and respect that goes with your contribution. When you get an opportunity to make your mark on-the-job MAKE A MARK THAT CAN BE SEEN FROM SPACE. Let them — peers, employers, customers and innocent bystanders — see and know you came to work because THERE IT IS.

    • Bert Connelly

      Great stuff, valentino14. You might be interested to read this article that Forbes published a few days ago called, “The Era of Internships Are Over, Never Hire An Intern Again.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2013/09/06/the-era-of-internships-are-over-never-hire-an-intern-again/

      I tend to disagree with the author in a lot of respects but I think you’ll find that there are 6, only 6, requirements that need to be satisfied before interns can legally go uncompensated.

      To your point about the company that truly can’t afford to pay their interns, we have some ideas on that front as well.

      http://employerblog.internmatch.com/9-alternative-ways-to-compensate-interns/

    • Bert Connelly

      Great stuff, valentino14. You might be interested to read this article that Forbes published a few days ago called, “The Era of Internships Are Over, Never Hire An Intern Again.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2013/09/06/the-era-of-internships-are-over-never-hire-an-intern-again/

      I tend to disagree with the author in a lot of respects but I think you’ll find that there are 6, only 6, requirements that need to be satisfied before interns can legally go uncompensated.

      To your point about the company that truly can’t afford to pay their interns, we have some ideas on that front as well.
      http://employerblog.internmatch.com/9-alternative-ways-to-compensate-interns/

      • valentino14

        Hello Bert,

        Thanks for alerting me to the Forbes Cameron King article…to which I responded in part…

        “It is the height of arrogance for employers like Charlie
        Rose, Hearst and others who somehow feel that working for them is an honor that deserves no-pay-for-interns. As a
        recruiting professional over the past 40 years, as it relates to hiring interns, I had the honor of working for Rockwell International-NAAO, Monsanto Ag, Ralston Purina, Nestle Purina, Nestle USA and Dow AgroScience. For these
        employers I went after the top college interns in the country – and it was an honor to hire them because the purpose was to hire interns, pay them well, and ferret-out the best of the best for future full-time employment. It’s called building a leadership base from key college partnerships through college intern hires. Most good companies do this…if they want to stay competitive.

        On Cameron King’s main point – I agree. His suggestion that employers should never hire an intern if they plan on not paying those interns. Because, as King warns, there is a high likelihood that they will get sued – as they should be according to fair employment practices.

  • Donfelix Odoh

    I think more employers need basic employment law education in order to get risk free value out of internship. Besides, internships provide a future talent pipeline.

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