Q&A: How to make remote internships work

Dan Marzullo, CEO and Founder of Drafted
Mar 1, 2022

Are interns right for remote work? As the workforce shifts to the virtual world, we have to consider whether interns should, too. Dan Marzullo, CEO and Founder of Drafted, lays out the pros and cons of remote internships to help you make the best decision for your organization. After you listen:  Order your copy of […]

Are interns right for remote work? As the workforce shifts to the virtual world, we have to consider whether interns should, too.

Dan Marzullo, CEO and Founder of Drafted, lays out the pros and cons of remote internships to help you make the best decision for your organization.

After you listen: 

Ask a SMB Workplace Question and get featured on POPS! The People Ops podcast.

On this episode, you’ll hear:

  • [00:00 – 02:30] The pros of hiring remote interns
  • [02:30 – 03:30] The cons of hiring remote interns
  • [03:30 – 04:00] Why you should consider remote internships


Dan: Our interns, right? For remote work. 

Didi: Welcome to POPS. The show that shows you how to shift from human resources, paperwork to people, operations for the new world of work. How by answering one question

today, to help us answer your question. Here’s Dan Marzullo, Founder and CEO of Drafted. 

Dan: One of the first benefits of hiring remote interns is just like an employer. Hiring globally or nationally with a remote workforce, you have low access to a larger talent pool. When you’re limiting yourself to your geographic location, you might not find as many skilled workers as broadening that search with remote opportunities.

And right now this is incredibly important because more than half of all American companies are reporting that they are short on skills. And that’s for either one or two reasons. And the first one is they either just don’t have enough applicants or number to the applicants that they are getting simply aren’t qualified.

So this is one of the main reasons you should consider. Opening up the opportunity for remote internships is to just have access to that larger talent pool. The second thing here is this is a great way to help build your future workforce. Think of remote internships as a way to groom, future talent for your.

Use this as a tool to trial potential employees. What better way to find out if someone’s a good fit for your organization. Then if you’ve worked with them over an extended period of time as an intern versus traditional hiring approach, you don’t have any way. Understanding how they’re going to fit and how they’re going to work within your company until you give them that opportunity.

So you can essentially save yourself on costs in the long, run it by if you were to hire a bad fit, because you didn’t have that experience with them. So this is a great grooming tool to recruit future. The third thing here is more productivity. When we work from home, we have less distractions. There’s less coworkers and people in and out of the office to distract you from the task at hand and getting done what you have to do for the day.

Whereas when you’re in an office environment, there’s a lot of different things going on. That could potentially slow you down. The last thing on the pros list here is it’s just simply cost efficient, right? You don’t have to buy more office supplies, find more space for interns, right? Another body in your organization costs quite a lot of money.

Whereas when you set someone up at home, even with a small stipend to get started, it’s a lot cheaper in the long run. So moving over to the cons here, potentially no in-person experience. Can be a downside in terms of culture, right? If you have a strong in-person company culture, remote internships might be a challenge there to build that same community within your organization.

The second thing on our list is miscommunication possibilities, right? When you’re in person. Maybe you’re working together on a project. It’s a lot easier to be clear and understanding of what you want that individual to get done. Then sometimes over email and zoom. So you have to make sure that you’re very clearly communicating the task at hand.

The last thing here is it’s not for everyone. You really need self-motivated individuals to work from home. If you’re someone that gets distracted at home with other tasks outside of. And you need to go into that office environment to feel focused and get done what you need to do. Then this might not be the best fit for you to wrap it all up.

One of the things that I think employers really need to consider is this is the way of the future. Right. More and more companies are shifting towards a remote workforce. So offering remote internships is a great way to transition future employees into that style of work anyway, less and less companies are sharing.

Requiring on-site capabilities. So this is just a perfect fit with the future workforce and the way the economy is moving.

Didi: Do you have a question for our experts? Click the link in the show notes, or if you’ve got other ideas and feedback about our show, send them to podcast at dot com.

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