As your blog begins to grow into a small business, you may be finding it harder to do everything yourself and need to delegate some of your business activities to others. Bringing in an Intern may be a cost effective way for you to hire someone to help you. Staples shares some tips for small business to find an Intern. (No compensation received for this post.)

hire intern for small business

Interns can be tremendously valuable to small business owners in the short term and can lead to long-term professional relationships. However, it can be difficult to sift the wheat from the chaff when it comes to finding interns who will offer the most value. Don’t be afraid to try new things when it comes time to start the search for new interns. These four innovative tactics will help you find someone with a passion for quality work within your industry.

#1 Take Potential Interns for a Trial Run

Ask potential interns to do more than send a résumé and sit in for an interview. Take them for a test drive. Give them a sample project that would be typical of a daily task, and ask them to complete it. If your small business is a PR firm, ask them to write a sample press release. If you work for an accounting firm, have them run a balance sheet. The job market is competitive, and when you ask for interns to do real work, it will help sort through those who are serious about their careers and those who aren’t.

#2 Social Media “Auditions”

College graduates are typically well versed in the use of social media tools. If you are looking to fill an internship that requires an element of creativity, give applicants a chance to flex their creative muscles. Hold video “auditions,” where you ask applicants to submit videos to answer questions about themselves in addition to sending their résumés. This can give you a sense of the applicants’ personalities before bringing them in for interviews. It can also give you a sense of the applicants’ technical acumen, depending on the quality of video or use of video-editing software and effects.

Finding an Intern

#3 Targeted Media

Facebook allows brand pages to “boost” status updates, which means for a small fee, you can pay to target a status update to a region, interest or education level. Publicize on your Facebook page any internships you have open, and then boost the posts to target graduates in your area. The cost of doing this is small and could save hours in terms of sifting through qualified résumés. You can follow a similar model on LinkedIn.

#4 Go to the Source

Look for interns from a specific program at a local college that you think would best fill the role within your company. You can start by asking the Career Center to post the internship, but you can go beyond that. Try to make a connection to professors who teach in the program and offer to come in as a guest lecturer or to offer your business as a case study. It is a great way to network with potential interns and give them a sense of the quality of company they would be working with.

Just like prospective employees, the best interns usually get acquired fast. If you decide to use an intern, be sure to start looking early. The sooner you do this, the better your chances of finding an intern with the right credentials for your business will be.

These recommendations are brought to you by Staples. We support small business owners and entrepreneurs by providing you with the tools you need to succeed. For more tips for the small business owner or entrepreneur, visit the Staples Business Hub.