About the author: After working for 16 years as a software professional, Shiva Raman Pandey turned into a social entrepreneur and founded eWellness Expert. It has been helping people come out of their emotional, behavioral, and mental difficulties through online counseling and therapy.
We started operations in January 2016 and wanted to quickly expand the team. We decided to have around 4 employees and 6-10 interns; hiring of full-time employees and interns started at the same time. HeadHunters were assigned the task to source good resumes for full-time employees, and our internship requirements were posted on Internshala. Attracting right talent is never easy for a startup. Employees have seen the industry and know what to prioritize in their career, so if you can convince them of high-quality work, good work culture and can offer a decent salary, you can hire them.
Interns, on the other hand, mostly know only about big companies like TCS, Infosys, and Wipro etc. majorly because they hire big numbers in campus placements and their seniors talk about them. If some seniors are placed in a 2-3-year-old startup, they might have heard its name as well, but it becomes a real challenge for a new bootstrapped startup like us. Questions like how many employees are there in the company, how old is the company, whether it is funded or not etc. are not easy to answer to a college student who may prematurely judge and drop off. Here is what worked for us:
1. Transparency: I have developed a great faith in the power of transparency and honesty. It solves many of our toughest problems easily. Whatever questions students may want to ask, but are, may be, hesitating, we answer them ourselves. We explain about the company, its founder, core employees, our vision, and the skill set and responsibilities of existing employees to make the interns feel very comfortable during the interview.
2. Opportunity to learn: To hire talented interns, you need to take tough interviews and it automatically convinces the interns that there will be many opportunities for learning.
3. The quality of work: Usually there is no dearth of good work in a startup, so you only need to convince them that interns will be given opportunities to do those tasks and their contributions and ideas will be valued.
4. Committed mentorship: While we provide freedom to experiment and implement, we also have a well-planned onboarding training module of 2 weeks for all the interns. This trains them about the technology that we work on and also makes them aware of how our product works.
5. Flexibility and fun culture: We have a pretty open culture, flat hierarchy, and are a fun place to work. We also have the work-from-home option and flexible work hours.
6. A mixture of talents: We have a team with a mixture of web developers, graphic designers, content writers, video editors, and psychologists and so the workplace is always full of energy.
When you are able to hire a team of talented interns, it becomes very easy to train and mentor them. Some of them will be self-driven and result oriented and it sets the right tone for other interns as well. Hiring interns is definitely a very cost effective way to get the quality work done and at the same time, we feel satisfied by giving opportunities to fresh graduates and training them. We are very happy with our interns and will continue to maintain a good number of interns in our company.
If you are also looking to hire interns, please post your requirements here.