Why paying interns is a bad idea


So I came back to GAG because of AOC...

Why paying interns is a bad idea

Background: I worked at law firms for five years and I've been involved in hiring decisions.

Fact of the matter is, most entry level jobs are admin work or delivery related. There are firms in India, China and other countries that can do admin work extremely well for 1/10 of the price. There are other people that do coffee deliveries. Hiring someone without an internship period is a liability. It's also an attitude thing. The fact that you are willing to do an unpaid internship means that you are genuinely interested in the business and not just in it for the money, at least from my experience.

1. Corporations are not responsible for "paying your bills".

You are responsible for your own finances. I've met so many young people who spend their money on the most ridiculous things like lunch, breakfast at Starbucks everyday, clubbing every night, bar hopping and Spotify subscriptions. You do not need these things. You don't get to enjoy luxuries like that when you are an intern. I've had so many interns say things like, "omg it's 2019, no one cooks" when I or other people at the law firm cook our own lunches.

2. Interns have poor attitudes.

Lets see.... They want to leave at 5PM sharp when everybody is staying late. Many of them spend hours at lunch when you really should be taking lunch at your desk. They want to take vacation right away when you should wait until 3-6months after hiring at least. They think they only have one boss when they really have multiple bosses (basically they are bottom of the pole and reports to everybody).

We can't have people like that at my work. Law firms are a client oriented service industry. We don't say no to clients. If a paying client wants something done at 6/7/8, you drop everything and do it.

We are observing character during an unpaid internship. And we're not paying for that since we become invested. We don't want to be invested until we are sure you are a good fit.

4. Unpaid internships are like a trial period.

Basically we want to see if you have what it takes. It's really hard to fire people and I wouldn't hire anyone without a trial to see if they are a good fit.

MOST IMPORTANT: Bottom line is, there are many firms that we can can outsource to for a much better quality/efficiency and cost than hiring a paid student. You can hire 10 workers in India for one entry level salary, and they do extremely well. So if companies are mandated to pay student, more companies may choose outsourcing.

Why paying interns is a bad idea
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  • MzAsh
    I would take an unpaid internship only IF there was a high likelihood of being offered a permanent position after the internship was complete, provided a job well done.
  • zagor
    One of the main points of hiring interns in the first place is to find exceptional people who may want to come back to the company in a full-time capacity after they graduate. That isn't going to happen paying low-wage workers in India. The point of internships is not to be a source of cheap go-fers. I work in tech, not law, and I can tell you when Google is paying summer interns $8,000 a month you aren't going to get much for free when it comes to talented undergrads and grad students.

    Non-paid internships also discriminate enormously against those whose families are low-income. I had to work summers as an undergrad - my friend took an unpaid internship and had his own office and assistant.
    • Anonymous

      Well tech is a bit different since you require special knowledge. Law offices are mostly paper work for admins

  • Anonymous
    Depends on your objectives as an employer. If you're just looking for free labor then sure, unpaid interns are great. But if you're looking for future prospects to fill key roles in your organization, paying your interns in order to attract the best prospects is a small price to pay to insure you attract the cream of the crop, especially knowing your competition has the attitude of the MyTake owner.

    That's how competition works. If they're smart, your competition will easily outsmart you on this one.
    • Anonymous

      Like I said. Interns make a lot of mistakes and have poor attitude. I can hire cheaper outsourced labour who does a good job and maintain my edge. I will hire interns only if I like them.

    • Anonymous

      Here's let me fix that for you...

      "Unpaid" interns make a lot of mistakes and have poor attitude.

      I spend a little money to attract the good ones... the ones who don't make mistakes and don't have bad attitudes. I'll leave the rest of them to you.

      Clearly you have been getting what you paid for.

    • Anonymous

      No even paid ones have poor attitude and work ethic. I'm not paying a single cent unless I know you are good.

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