There are plenty of reasons why hiring an intern can be a great idea. It’s essential to know exactly why you’re hiring them and what your goals—and theirs—are for the experience.

Intern Motivation
Interns, often young and still studying or fresh out of college, tend to be highly motivated and interested. They will come into an internship with the intention of both learning from a company, and using their experience there to further their own career path, either through simply gaining real life experience, or earning a letter of recommendation that’s not from a professor. Interns have an openness that a regular hire may not have because they also are aware of the opportunity to make professional connections for their future. All interns also know that companies will sometimes hire their best interns, and this makes them extremely hard workers.

Tech Savvy
This alone is good reason to hire an intern—Gen Y professionals simply have an ease with technology that is always helpful in the office. Not only can you trust them to learn programs easily, but they might be able to show other employees a few things that they didn’t know about company software or iPads or Apps nobody knew about. Interns can also have fresh ideas about how the company could be utilizing social media more effectively.

Potential Hire
Since hiring new employees is taking longer and becoming a more arduous process for most companies, any shortcut means savings of time and money in the HR department. An internship functions as a natural trial period for a job in the company. Employers have a chance to witness the employee’s work ethic, know how, and skills on the job without committing to anything. If they’re excellent, the company may choose to bring them on as a paid employee and bypass the trouble and expense of a new employee search.

Unattached Can Mean Creative
The intern has the advantage of a new perspective on the way things are running in a company. They are not as attached to the power structures, or the way things have always been done. If given the liberty to do so, and enough respect that they feel that they do have a voice during the internship period, they just might have some very clever solutions to things a company had been blind to through habit.

Better Retention Rate
Employees who were hired on from an internship often stay with the company longer. This may be in part because of a kind of loyalty an intern gives to the company that sees their potential and is willing to take a risk on it. It may be a factor of the recent economy—it’s simply harder to go out there in the job market again once you’ve gotten used to being fully employed.

All things considered, it simply makes sense for companies to implement an internship program. It saves money, forms a bridge to the greater community, is relatively easy and inexpensive to set up, and has great potential benefits for everyone involved.