Startups: your competitive advantages to attract and retain interns
Even if startups are pretty trendy right now, when it comes to hiring the best talents, competition is still fierce among corporate companies and their big names. So what can you do to make the difference and convince great candidates to join your startup? Here are some competitive advantages you might be willing to highlight during the interview:
Forget about the “photocopy/coffee internships”
Truth is, in big companies, the chances of interns being given real responsibilities are pretty low. Especially if their previous experience only consists of a 6-month internship. On the contrary, your startup might be willing to hire and trust a young, motivated intern and actually give them real responsibilities. Make sure to highlight the importance of the missions they have to complete and how they will impact the business’s growth. Lastly, hiring an intern uses precious resources like time and money, so stress the importance of the diligence and thoroughness required in your startup’s environment.
Learn and grow in a record fast time
As the startup grows, the whole team will experience new situations, learn from their mistakes, and eventually pivot, improve and change things. There are many opportunities for your interns to see all of the company and its mechanisms, be part of the decisions, and experience accelerated learning.
Joining a startup might be one of the most concrete work experiences to be valued on their resume. They will be able to show tangible results from their work, illustrate interpersonal skills such as flexibility and reliability, demonstrate a particular interest for operations, decision-making /problem-solving, and gain a better understanding of a specific career orientation they’d like to take on.
Be part of a great team & join an awesome community
Startups are entities relying more than anything on their team. Your team is your strength and just as you advertise it to a board of investors, you do it as well for your interns. Question: Who will they work with? What are the talents on the team? What can they learn from you? What networks do you have access to?
Then, talk about the company culture you have and what makes daily life so nice at your office: flexible hours, open/co-working space with a barbecue spot, after-work drinks, off-sites abroad, casual dress code, weekly meetings, flat hierarchy, etc.
Last but not least, entrepreneurs are a huge family and a very welcoming community. Hackathons, networking events, demo days, and so many more events are organized by and for the startup folks. Integrate your interns among your peers and encourage them to participate so they can grow both their knowledge and their network. There will be a win-win outcome for sure.
Live a unique adventure & get hired
Well, I guess this is the best and final argument you can give them. Whoever has had the chance to join a startup will confirm it: entrepreneurship is an incredible adventure, full of ups and downs, great emotions and beautiful memories. Give your interns a sense of commitment, trust and excitement to have them be part of your startup. And of course, hiring an intern is nothing but an investment for you, so the chances of you hiring them permanently by the end of their internship are pretty high. Give them perspectives and they shouldn’t doubt for a second to tell you a big YES! : )