It’s still a controversial matter in some countries whether to pay interns you employ in your company or not, for example, it wasn’t until this month that the European Parliment officially banned unpaid internships in a historic decision. But according to the Egyptian labor law, it falls upon the employers to choose whether they want to compensate the interns or not. So if it depends on you as an employer, here is what you should consider if you are paying or not paying your interns.
Being a current intern at WUZZUF, I am fortunate to be a part of a continually-evolving company that provides to its employees enough space to feel at home; yet at the same time creates a professional environment that urges them to learn and develop. WUZZUF also offers compensation for its interns so that they could feel more integrated as part of the company.
How does compensation add to your intern’s experience?
Most university students look for opportunities to experience real work, which is a good reason for them to try and find an internship. Between university fees and personal expenses, they usually cannot afford to spend time and effort interning somewhere without getting compensation in return. When companies offer a salary, it motivates interns to work devotedly and produce fine quality results since they felt more appreciated and integrated into the work environment.
A good internship experience can turn into a low-cost employer branding campaign for your company. Why not pay your intern when he/she acts as your ambassador?
I talked to Moaaz Soliman, our Outreach & Partnerships Specialist. He first joined WUZZUF as a social media intern, then he joined the partnerships team. “WUZZUF’s challenging environment allowed me to grow and explore my potentials and move to the partnerships team. Being an intern in a leading company gave me the experience you only grasp at a real workplace environment.”, Moaaz explains how this internship was crucial to his career.
On the topic of getting paid and appreciated during his internship, Moaaz shares: “When I see how my effort is appreciated, I get motivated to do more.”When I see how my effort is appreciated, I get motivated to do more.Click To Tweet
Is it okay not to pay in some cases?
In very particular situations it can be acceptable not to pay the intern since the compensation could be in a non-monetary form.
Numerous corporates in Egypt organize annual summer internship programs. These programs are designed to hire one or more interns after training. Such programs usually offer an exceptional experience that applicants look forward to. Given the valuable experience, the program itself is an enough of a compensation to the interns. At the end of the internship, the participant would have acquired the desired understanding of their career interests. It is reasonable for employers not to pay the participant interns and avoid spending a big budget on pay. But nevertheless, I strongly urge employers out there to compensate their interns.
It also differs depending on the nature of the work. Critical work that requires long, fixed hours somewhat equates interns with regular employees; so naturally, it would be more righteous to pay them for the effort, as opposed to less demanding work.
So, Should you pay your interns?
Ideally, yes, given that it results in the most satisfactory outcome for the company and the interns, even if it’s a minimal pay, covering their transportation and lunch breaks. Realistically, in some cases, it might be acceptable, but we do not recommend it.Don’t underestimate the power of financial compensation to the intern.Click To Tweet
It all falls upon your strategy as an employer, what kind of work you get from your interns and what you will provide in return. Don’t underestimate the power of financial compensation to the intern. Think twice before you take the decision!