4 secrets on how to source the perfect intern from a workplace talent scout

Interns are motivated, highly-enthusiastic workers who are eager to learn and eager to please – when you get the right ones.

But only a number of work-placement positions are available and with numerous graduates every year the competition is high and the pressure to choose the right person for the job can be intense.

Business Insider spoke to Bridget Loudon, CEO of Expert360, a talent marketplace which helps SMEs find tier one freelance staff to complete short-term white collar projects, and asked her for her tips on sourcing awesome interns.

Here’s what she said.

Attitude is everything.

“First and foremost, interns have to have the right attitude,” said Loudon.

“They have to be driven and push themselves. We can train them up on the skills, but they have to bring the attitude. We nurture them and help them grow as professionals.”

Be specific.

Loudon says it’s important to invest time in the job description and interview process, from interns through to front-line customer service. This gives the company access to a wider range of potential candidates.

“Hiring is the most important aspect of our business and that’s why we spend so much time on getting our staff right.

“We set the bar very high. Most of our interns have ATARs over 99.”

Make sure everybody wins.

Expert360 focuses on providing interns with vital workplace skills, while also encouraging them to participate and contribute in building the business.

“When we get interns, they’re on the front line of our business from day one,” says Loudon.

“We get them to contribute in key roles right across the business. We empower them to take ownership of their roles and to help grow the business.”

To ensure that the work placements are beneficial for the intern and business alike, interns are encouraged to stay on for 3-6 months.

“Some of our interns have gone into the market with experience that money just cannot buy and the corporate sector acknowledges the value of these skills.”

Be supportive – no matter what.

Loudon says she retains great staff, providing interns with the potential of full-time employment at the end of an internship.

However she says if an intern chooses to interview for a position elsewhere, Expert360 actively offers assistance by providing strong references and interview preparation.

Expert360 also makes the exiting interns responsible for finding a replacement. They are to source, select and interview potential candidates which gives them additional experience of building a team.

Loudon says this has given her interns a “great success rate” in landing future roles.

“A number of our interns go on to land extremely competitive, highly sought after roles in banking, consulting or finance.”

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