The FindSpark Employer Guide

Employment Categories

Paid Internships: In a paid internship interns must receive at least minimum wage ($8.75 p/h) as well as overtime if their work hours exceed 40 hours within a week.

College Credit Internships: For-credit internships provide students with academic credit and not monetary payment. Each school will have their own process for establishing internships as credit and may require the student to submit a log of hours, keep a blog about their experience, or write a paper at the end of the job.

Only full-time students can work for-credit internships. Recent grads cannot be considered in this category since they are no longer in school. They can only work paid internships.

If you want to offer a College Credit Internship, you must require that credit be received, not make it optional. If the intern isn’t receiving credit or hourly minimum wage, the internship is not legal.

College Credit + Stipend Internships: Credit-stipend internships provide students with a combination of academic credit and a stipend. The stipend is a lump sum of money given to the intern on a periodic basis, or after the completion of the internship. Many times it is offered in the form reimbursements for travel or lunch.

Only full-time students can work College Credit + Stipend Internships. Recent grads cannot be considered in this category since they are no longer in school. They can only work paid internships.

The difference between the stipend and the paid internship

Only full-time students can legally work to receive College Credit or College Credit + Stipend internships and they must receive credit for it to be legal, it cannot be optional.

Recent grads can’t be considered for College Credit or College Credit + Stipend internships because they can’t receive academic credit and must be paid hourly and for overtime (more than 40 hr/wk).

If your relationship with an intern meets all of the six criteria according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employer can then offer a College Credit or College Credit + Stipend internship.

Benefits of Offering Paid Internships

In our experience, employers who offer paid internships experience:

  • higher traffic to their job listings

  • more applicants (twice the response rate as credit/credit + stipend internship)

  • applications of higher quality than those submitted to unpaid opportunities

  • the opportunity to select interns from a larger and more qualified pool

  • geographically diverse intern programs

  • wages help to defray costs of commute and in some cases, rent, for students who relocate for the summer to work with your company


How to Write a Job Description That Gets You Candidates

Hiring the best intern or employee for your company is extremely important. There’s stiff competition out there for top talent, and writing a standout job description is essential toward attracting the right individuals.

We want to connect you with the best candidate to fill your needs, so we suggest including the following details in your listing:

  • A complete company profile on FindSpark: company logo, location,  and a brief, but compelling company description.
  • Job Title & Summary: Create an accurate name for the position you are looking to fill, and it’s level (intern, entry-level, etc). Within the summary, you should include a brief overview of the position’s main responsibilities, along with it’s purpose. Questions to think about:
    • At what do they excel? About what do they feel passionately about? Are they organized, detailed-oriented? Do they love good design?
  • Department: Always indicate in which department the position will be working under, and if possible, their direct supervisor.
  • Key Responsibilities: Included in the summary, this should be a list of all the essential functions of the position. Try and help a candidate visualize what a typical work day will include.
  • Skills & Qualifications: List all the skills and qualifications that are mandatory, along with those that are preferred. This includes skills, years of experience, education level, and technical proficiencies.
    Questions to think about:

    • What computer skills, programs, or technical skills would you like the candidate to possess?
    • How many prior years of experience are necessary?
    • What kind of personality and soft skills do you seek?
    • Time: When does the position start?
    • If an internship, what is the time commitment needed per week?
  • Salary & Benefits: If your company is open to publicizing salary range and benefits, be sure to include them within the job description.
  • Details about the Application Process & Contact Information:
    • Should the applicant send a cover letter or resume?
    • Does the position require a portfolio of the applicant’s work?
    • Where should the application materials be sent?
  • Type of Employment: Be very clear about whether the position is full-time, part-time or an internship. If it is an internship, be clear as to whether it will be paid or require college credit. If it is unpaid and requires college credit, be sure to follow the six federal legal criteria.

Questions? Email hello [at] findspark [dot] com for more information or clarification. 

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