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Modern companies are increasingly hiring candidates with no commercial experience. There are three main reasons for recruiting interns: 

  1. lack of specialists
  2. emergence of new professions
  3. for specific positions, it is sometimes easier to teach a candidate than to explain to an experienced specialist why it is necessary to do in this way.

The number of specialists increases by about 25-30% annually, but this does not cover the rapidly growing demand. Therefore, The European Commission also advises hiring inexperienced candidates, even in small companies. Companies conduct internship programs to meet their needs in specialists, which usually last for three months or more. During this time, the intern acquires new knowledge and puts into practice existing skills. Find here some tips on how to hire interns effectively!

Why are intern programs created?

Such programs are essential primarily to cover the company's needs in specialists and provide an opportunity to gain experience for those who do not yet have it. After graduation, such an intern will be a full-fledged specialist who can perform tasks of varying complexity and bring profit to the company. Therefore, it is crucial to allow interns to start their careers.

Recruiting interns: a recruiter’s look

How to recruit interns? We will share some basic tips to recruit interns in order to make your life easier and work - more efficient.

Recruiting interns is sometimes as challenging as hiring a senior-level candidate for some recruiters. Seniors are usually not interested in changing companies, and interns have many nuances. Firstly, there are always many people who want to get their first job, and secondly, taking courses is not a guarantee that the candidate has sufficient knowledge. There is also a problem with communication. Such candidates do not quite understand how to communicate with recruiters and what to tell.

How to hire interns?

  1. Create a perfect candidate portrait and requirements
  2. Build a pre-selection process framework
  3. Make a clear adaptive template for an interview with a candidate without professional experience

Now let's look at each point on how to hire interns in more detail:

First of all, we need to understand who we are looking for. To do this, we need to learn the basic skills that an ideal candidate should possess. It's not just about hard skills but also about soft skills. That is because the primary goal of a recruiter is to check how the candidate will be able to find a common language with future colleagues and then check, for example, what level of English they have.

The next step is to find the perfect intern. There are notions of "active" and "passive" search in recruitment. Passive search is when we post a vacancy on job boards, and everyone can send their cv. An active search is when the recruiter is looking for candidates manually. In this case, LinkedIn is one of the most used tools, but it will not be handy for the search for interns because few entry-level specialists know about this network. You can also try to contact necessary course administrators to advise their best graduates or present your company at a university job fair.

Pre-select internship candidates

Candidates usually indicate in their resumes their skills by which we can initially assess whether this candidate is suitable. If you think on how to recruit interns, understanding which skills are critical and which will be a plus is essential. For example, a great advantage can be the experience of an internship in another company. You can also weed out irrelevant candidates at the correspondence stage. For example, suppose we are looking for a candidate who will communicate with people (support specialist/recruiter /business developer/sales manager, etc.), and he behaves rudely or makes grammatical mistakes. In that case, you should note that they will do it at work. Or if we are looking for an accountant who asks the same question several times, then such a person should not control the company's finances.

The most frequent requirements for interns are:

  • Critical thinking and analysis skills 
  • Ability to work with new information
  • Research skills
  • Communication skills 
  • Time management skills 
  • Responsibility
  • Adaptability 
  • Initiative

Peculiarity of the interview with the internship candidate

The interview of a recruiter with an intern is almost no different from an interview with an experienced specialist. However, with a beginner, we mainly talk about studying, where they acquired the necessary skills, used them in practice, or the candidate has only theoretical knowledge, why he decided to learn this profession, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to determine how much they want to develop in this direction because it will be one of the leading indicators of future success. 

There are a few basic questions that can determine whether a candidate is suitable:

  • What would be important for the candidate in the new company?
  • What motivates the candidate to grow and develop in the position?
  • How does the candidate make a decision when choosing an offer?

Tips to recruit the best interns

Before the interview, you need to prepare questions to be asked and a brief description of the company and position. You can make the rating scale for software and hard skills required for your vacancy and take notes during the interview because it is challenging to remember all the information after several conversations. And one more important tip to recruit interns: don't expect much from an intern since they may not know everything.

How to increase search efficiency?

If you have googled some requests like "how to recruit interns", we have good news for you. You can significantly simplify the recruitment process with online recruitment software like Axterior. The recruitment platform allows you to solve two main tasks: streamline all recruitment-related accounting processes and reduce recruitment-related losses.

When compiling and maintaining vacancies, contacting the initiator of the job search is essential to plan the distribution of work, evaluate candidates' CVs and test tasks for further recruitment stages.

In contrast to cumbersome files with lists of candidates, the online recruitment software dramatically simplifies and speeds up the resolution of questions for a particular vacancy.


The labor market is constantly expanding, so we either already have experience with entry-level vacancies or will have such experience in the future. Therefore, these tips will be helpful for both novice recruiters and experienced professionals who do not yet know how to hire interns.

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