What to Consider Before Hiring Hawaii Summer Interns
Summer interns offer many benefits to employers including reducing employee workload and helping managers learn about managing the next young generation of workers. An internship is also a great test to see whether the intern could be a good fit as a long-term employee before offering a job. If they are, then the employer saves time on training because the new employees comes in with some knowledge about how the company is run and the types of tasks they will be responsible for.
If you are considering hiring one or more summer interns, there are some things to think about before placing the advertisement.
What to consider before hiring Hawaii summer interns
1. Do I have enough substantial work to justify a summer intern?
An internship is all about learning what it means to work in a professional environment, grow job skills and learn about an industry. The projects and tasks assigned to a summer intern should help the student achieve these goals. While tasks such as filing papers could help unburden employees, they are not likely what an intern is looking to do.
2. Paid or unpaid?
Employers must decide whether they will hire paid or unpaid summer interns. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) looks at seven factors to determine whether an intern is entitled to the rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Read the DOL’s Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act for more information.
If you decide to go with an unpaid internship, make sure that the internship will provide an excellent learning and mentoring opportunity for the student and find out if the student can receive academic credit for the internship. Consider putting an agreement in writing that describes the company’s and intern’s responsibilities and expectations.
3. Should I hire teen workers?
If you are considering hiring younger workers for summer internships you will need to follow Hawaii’s child labor laws. A great resource is The State of Hawaii Wage Standards Division’s website on child labor.
Workplace harassment can happen between co-workers or between supervisors/managers and employees. A student intern is likely to be young and in a position that holds no power which can create a higher risk for harassment. In addition, we are in an era where young people are very aware of their rights and sensitive to actions or words that could be seen as harassment. Make sure that all employees and management have gone through workplace harassment training.
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