Thinking about whether or not to apply for HR internships? Hopefully this will help. We’ve talked to a few who’ve been through the works and thrown together some of the key things you can expect from your experience, including some of the challenges you’ll face and benefits you’ll walk away with.
The 3 main areas of HR internships are recruitment, relations, and benefits/compliance. Let’s see a brief breakdown of each of these…
- Recruitment – you’ll be exposed to the different steps in the recruitment process, from job listings, to assessing resumes and applications, to meetings and screenings, and hiring.
- Relations – get experience with different aspects regarding employees, including management of issues, contracts, and coordination of company events.
- Benefits/compliance – learn about benefits programs and where this comes into hiring and keeping employees. Also learn about the elements of compliance such as keeping and managing records for employees, and employment law.
What responsibilities can you find yourself with in HR internships?
You may work databases for recruitment – sourcing candidates from online sites, collecting resumes, pre-screening, making reference calls and liaising with recruiters.
You may be put in charge of updating the benefits list, making flyers to inform employees about company events, training newly hired employees, maintaining employee files and more, and more.
By working together with those who have had years of experience in the company, you can gain some deeper insights about the work.
Naturally, there will be aspects of the experience that test you. These may include…
- Project size – you may have to sift through a large number of applicants, sometimes 100’s, ensuring you keep accurate tabs on who to send through to the next stage of the recruitment process.
- Working overtime – such large projects may mean you need to stay back some days because you’re responsible for getting through the large volume of applicants.
- Unhappy employees – communicating with/for them, and providing what they need.
- The variable approach to candidates. You may need to ask different questions, or apply a different order, to different candidates.
- Being rejected when you apply for HR internships. However be persistent and try for little firms as well as the bigger ones.
Professionals claim the benefits of HR internships to far outweigh the cons. See our list of advantages…
- Talking about it makes a powerful impression when you interview for a full-time role.
- Gain strong references in the industry – your manager and/or supervisors. You can also grow your list of contacts in the field. Make an effort to talk to others while on placement. Introduce yourself and have chat over a coffee.
- In just about any career area, experience is the most valuable thing on the CV. This industry is no exception meaning HR internships will certainly put you ahead of the crowd.
- By getting experience in each of the main 3 areas of HR, internships will allow you to learn the basics of the industry, and get a feel for which of these you’ll enjoy working in.
- Gain experience identifying the red flags to look out for amongst employees and candidates.
- Gain a better knowledge about the company and the benefits they have to offer.
HR internships are rather important to getting work in the field. Today, you need experience and this is valued above and beyond having just a degree. This is a beneficial way to build up skills in each of the fundamental areas, and do some invaluable networking. Learn the ins and outs of the industry and what you do and don’t like about it so you know exactly what you’re signing up for.