– Grow your talent, don’t buy it
Still, in an industrial world whose methods show obvious signs of exhaustion, the merit of sharing experience is to encourage experiment and to plant the seeds of conceptual change. – Ricardo Semler
In a Nutshell
Internships can be a dirty word. Associated with unpaid labor and menial administrative tasks, this concept comes with baggage and seems to be generally loaded in favour of the employer. Detractors accuse internships reinforcing negative norms about work for new employees, such as being grateful for whatever work opportunities they may have, no matter how unfruitful.
What if, instead internships, are springboards for young future employees to understand what work can be and for companies to nurture talent they would like to hire later? Semco was a trailblazer in this regard, with their Projecto Crescer or “Project Grow”, when they collaborated with the Rotary Club of Sao Paulo.
Instead of treating them as a resource drain, internships can be beneficial to company branding when approached as a CSR project. Partner with a local NGO that your company is passionate about and offer structured programs that can help equip teenagers for the realities of the workforce. By investing in them, you are growing the expertise for your company in-house, when they choose to return to work in your company. Even if they don’t, this can provide good employer branding for your company.