Why Bootstrapped Startups Should Hire Interns
And When They Should Not
It’s often said that to get a job, you have to have experience. That’s why so many startups hire interns, which is an excellent way to give talented individuals valuable experience while also getting inexpensive help with everyday business tasks.
Entrepreneurs should know that interns are not only a great way to get help with growing the company, but they can also be a source of great talent.
Even if interns don’t usually end up staying on at the company, they can provide valuable feedback and insight into how things work within the organization and if there are any issues that need to be addressed.
Interns can also play an important role in helping you bring on new employees in the future by acting as references for current or former interns who demonstrated high levels of skill.
Finally, interns may be more willing than others to work for low pay or even for free because they want the experience and are willing to take a chance on a small company that may not always offer top pay.
If you have an internship program in place that provides real value to your business, it may be worth spending the extra money to pay for new interns.
But if you don’t have a formal program in place and the internships you’re offering are simply a way to get free help around the office, entrepreneurs are better off doing without the extra expense and using that money to hire a part-time employee instead.
If you’re running a bootstrapped company, internships can be a great way to get extra help with everyday tasks while also attracting new talent. But it’s important to understand that they’re not always the most cost effective way to get help without spending money on full-time employees.
Only consider hiring interns if you have a formal program in place and are willing to set aside money for paid positions when interns graduate.
Interns vs Part-time Employees: What is the Difference?
Part-time employees are paid a regular salary, just like full-time employees. They are also eligible for benefits and are usually given more responsibility that interns.
On the other hand, interns usually work at least 20 hours per week and interns are usually only paid if they receive school credit for their internship. They also work under the supervision of the company’s full-time employees.
Part-time employees usually have less experience and tend to come with a lower price tag than full-time employees.
However, they can be a great way to help entrepreneurs grow their business without breaking the bank.
On the other hand, interns are usually recent college graduates who are willing to work for free or for low pay in exchange for valuable experience and connections that could help them land their dream job after graduation.
It’s important for entrepreneurs to understand the difference between part-time employees and interns so that they can determine which type of help is most appropriate for their business.
If you’re running a bootstrapped start up, you’re better off using part-time employees instead of paying higher wages or offering benefits to interns.
How Much Should I Pay My Interns?
While there are no specific rules about how much you should pay your interns, most companies pay between $6 and $10 per hour for part-time help (in Singapore). Some entrepreneurs choose to pay interns hourly rates and others choose to pay them a stipend.
One of the biggest differences between the two is that some interns may be eligible for benefits if they are paid hourly. However, they usually don’t get benefits if they’re only getting a stipend.
It’s important for entrepreneurs to understand the difference and decide which is right for their company before hiring interns.
Another thing entrepreneurs must consider when deciding how much to pay their interns is whether or not they’re coming from upper-class families or lower-income families.
If you’re offering a stipend instead of paying hourly rates, you might want to adjust your offer based on the relative wealth of your potential interns so that you can attract young people from all walks of life.
About the Author
I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.
You can connect with me on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderlhk) and let me know that you are a reader of my Medium posts in your invitation message.