More and more companies are hiring interns, but is an internship program right for your company? If you hire an intern how much should you pay them? And, how long should the internship last? The Society for Human Resources Management recently conducted a survey that should help answer some of those questions. Almost a third of the respondents were from businesses with less than 100 employees.  Here are some of the results:  About 65% of companies hired at least one intern in 2013 and the length of most internships was 1-3 months. Most interns were recruited either through referrals from current employees or through on-campus programs.  About half of the internships were tied to the intern receiving some type of academic credit once the internship was completed.  About 85% of internships are paid.  Most are paid hourly and the average pay ranges from $10.10 per hour to $13.85 per hour depending on whether the intern is a high school, undergraduate or graduate student.

If you choose to hire an unpaid intern it is important to be sure that the position complies with the Fair Labor Standards Act. There are six criteria that must be met including that the experience is primarily for the benefit of the intern, not for the benefit of your company. The idea is that your company has an internship program because you want to offer an educational experience that will ultimately help the interns further their careers, not because you want free labor. There also must be an understanding that the intern should not expect to receive a paid position after the internship has been completed. For more information on all of the criteria visit www.dol.gov.

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