Human Resources News & Insights

Forget the law — here’s why you should really pay your interns [INFOGRAPHIC]

Yes, the Department of Labor says most interns must be paid. But there are many pro-employer reasons to give those hard-working kids some much-need dough.  

By now, you know the DOL’s six-point test for legally employing unpaid interns by heart. (If you don’t, it’s right this way.)

And you’ve heard that everyone from Charlie Rose to the producers of the film “Black Swan” has gotten into trouble for not paying their interns.

But the folks over at InternMatch recently compiled a bunch of research that sends one message: It’s a win-win situation when companies pay their interns.

Here are some of the more relevant findings:

Duh — it’s great for interns

You might think that all the hubbub about unpaid interns might have scared off most companies from even trying to bring some on. But that’s not the case.

Nearly 50% of the internships taken by people graduating college in 2013 were unpaid. That’s about one million unpaid internships annually.

And yes, assuming that companies are following the law, they may be saving money. But they also be harming their unpaid help.

For one, their interns are already hurting financially. As a result, over 60% of unpaid interns need to take a second job.

And of those who are paid, over 40% find that the remuneration levels aren’t enough to live day to day.

It’s also great for employers

OK, so paying your interns helps them get by. But what’s in it for companies?

For one, firms may be able to attract more qualified candidates with paid intern listings, which get 2.5 times as many clicks online as unpaid positions.

Two, paid interns have a better chance of being hired — 61% of paid interns received at least one job offer.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, paid interns are happier and more engaged: They spent less time on clerical and non-essential tasks and more time on professional work.

All that points to interns who likely enjoy working with your firm — and who may be primed and ready to accept a full-time position once they’re done school.

Check out the full infographic below:

Interns-infographic

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