After covering the recruitment process for JobBridge interns, we look at the ongoing employer requirements for an internship – and how to get maximum value from the scheme.
As you may have learned from our previous post, recruiting an intern through JobBridge is a relatively straightforward, flexible process – it’s certainly worth it if you can get the right person to work with you. However, that effort will be wasted if you don’t make the most of the internship, while it’s also important to keep on top of the JobBridge paperwork.
Fortunately, that paperwork requirement is pretty light. Firstly, after selecting your intern, you’ll need to inform the Department of Social Protection so that they can give the intern their extra €50 per week – if you don’t do this, they won’t get paid.
You can do this by clicking here and logging in using your username and password. Pick out the internship from the list displayed, and click on ‘manage intern’. After entering your username and password again, you can use the calendar icon to input the start date – the system will then input the completion date automatically.
From month to month, you also need to confirm that the internship is actually happening. To do this, just click here again and login. You can locate the internship, enter your username and password again, and select an intern if their monthly compliance is due. There are a few simple questions to answer and confirm that the internship is proceeding on track.
While the paperwork is extremely simple, getting the most out of an intern – and possibly training them up into a full member of the team – is a bit trickier. As a general rule, our clients have found that gradually increasing an intern’s level of responsibility is successful: start him or her off with simple data entry, for example, before they progress to completing more advanced tasks under supervision. If you find that you’d be comfortable with them working independently or in a full client-facing role you’ve got yourself a keeper.
However the internship is progressing, it’s well worth scheduling a regular feedback session at least once a month. This should be a chance for you to give constructive pointers on the work that your intern is doing, while he or she will also have views on the placement. For example, it’s unlikely that an intern will fully understand every facet of your business on day one. Allowing him or her to tell you what aspects of the role they’re finding particularly interesting or satisfying gives you the opportunity to tailor their workload to benefit both parties.
Crosshead: Finishing Up
Sometimes, for whatever reason, you’ll want to end the internship early – it might not be working out as one party intended, or circumstances might get in the way. The process for doing this is pretty simple. After either you or the intern has given a week’s written notice of the internship ending, go here and log in. After locating the placement, click on the calendar under ‘finish term’ and enter the finish date. You’ll need to select a reason, and save. The intern must also tell the Department of Social Protection once the internship is terminated. Where an intern needs to end or suspend the placement because of maternity leave, there’s a separate process – you’ll find details here.
After a placement ends, you are obliged to take a six month ‘cooling off’ period before advertising an internship in the same area. This doesn’t apply, however, if you employ an intern after completing the scheme. Meanwhile, if you’ve had to end a placement early and want to advertise a new one immediately, this will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.
So, while JobBridge isn’t quite the free labour shop to business that some people might think, it’s a pretty flexible scheme to get keen people in at no direct cost. More importantly, if you make the effort to recruit the right intern, keep on top of the paperwork, and have a pro-active approach to their placement, you might just make an excellent addition to your permanent team.