Are you successfully recruiting the best interns to your organization? Every year, thousands of organizations and ministries are searching for an intern to bring onto their team, but not everyone is successful at finding the right fit. There can be a life-giving breath of fresh air and palatable energy brought to the church through a young and excited intern. But when handled poorly, an intern can also bring a sense of dread or discouragement. We want to create a valuable ministry experience for both the intern and the organization so here are five simplistic steps to recruiting the best interns for your team!
Create a written plan explaining why you would like to hire an intern and then get that plan approved. If you believe an internship can propel a person forward through personal development and coaching then write that in the job description. If you believe having someone come alongside you daily will help give ministry experience then write out some daily responsibilities and add those to your document. Determine benefits, expectations, work schedule, required skills and who will provide supervision and prepare a presentation for your leadership. Once you have the position approved and you know what you are looking for in a candidate then you begin the search.
Now that you have the internship position approved and you have created a solid job description begin searching for candidates. Post the opening on social media, spread the word, and begin taking resumes. With every possible candidate, carefully read over their resume to see not only what is listed but also what is missing. Check references and ask the hard questions necessary to get to a better understanding of the candidate. Finally, review the candidate’s social media accounts and look for both read flags and hints as to their fit on your team. After you have a good number of resumes, narrow your list and begin interviewing your top candidates.
Most likely you will be spending a considerate amount of time with your intern so keep this in mind as you begin the interview process. Ideally, you would interview the candidates in person with a group of discerning leaders but if that is not the case then set up the meeting using a service such as Skype or Zoom. Invite a few leaders to come along for the interviews and try lining up your team’s schedules so that you can move fast in the decision process. During the interview ask a variety of questions to get to know them, see how they would handle a situation, and hear their heart for what you are inviting them into. Write down their responses or record the meeting to help with future discussion and deliberation.
Directly after the interviews, it would be beneficial to deliberate with your team. If one candidate rises to the top and it is an easy decision then begin moving forward with that candidate. If deliberation leads to more confusion then you may need some time or possibly a point system to determine who you will extend the job offer to. When you offer the position to the intern candidate, be clear in your communication. Let the candidate know you have selected them, review the terms of the agreement, and set a deadline to receive an acceptance of the offer.
Now that you know who the intern will be and when they will start, communicate with your team and lay out some expectations. Share why you are hiring an intern and how they can help give the intern ministry experience and personal development. Encourage your team to schedule a meal with the intern as a way to break the ice and get to know them. Also if it’s applicable, make sure you inform your organization about what to expect and how the intern fits into the organizational structure. Help the organization see what the benefit will be as well as how they can contribute to the intern’s growth.
Hiring an intern can bring energy and fresh eyes to your organization. Make sure you do the hard work and follow these five simplistic steps to recruit the best intern for your team!