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Growing your healthcare business by creating an internship program

Posted by: Deanna Pogorelc on February 02, 2012

Every penny counts when you're a startup business owner, but there are some things you just can't skimp on. That includes hiring innovative, knowledgeable staff members to help grow your business. A low-cost option for scouting employees and expanding your healthcare business workforce could be tapping into a local university to recruit interns.

Dan Shundoff, the owner and president of Intellicom Inc., said more than half of his 26 staff members came through the company’s internship program.

The biggest mistake small businesses make in creating an internship program is targeting senior students, who are likely checked out and are just looking for a resume boost before entering the workforce, Shundoff said. Instead, he re-engaged with the local university’s faculty and internship office to recruit talented sophomore-level students who were energetic and ready to learn.

With a class of three to four part-time interns each semester, the company had a good pool of students from which to select “rock stars,” or students they wanted to keep around after the internship. Because those interns had already demonstrated their skills and were integrated into the company’s culture, Shundoff said he could make job offers with confidence.

“The only thing more expensive than training (employees) is not training,” he said. “Being able to avoid turnover and having to re-train new people all the time has saved us countless hours and lots of money.”

Hear more of Shundoff’s story and advice on building an internship program below.

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