Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions
The term internship refers to employment in a company, usually lasting several months and often unpaid. The purpose of an internship is to deepen already acquired hard skills through practical work experience and to learn new knowledge and skills.
First and foremost, a distinction is made between voluntary internships and compulsory internships. The following types of internships are primarily compulsory internships.
The focus is on typical activities, knowledge, and skills that people working in that particular field need. The internship typically lasts only a few weeks so that various occupational profiles can be explored.
Preliminary internships generally take up to three months.
An internship (also called work experience) for school students usually takes place in the local area. However, they can also take place abroad, especially during later stages in the academic career of the student. Internships abroad are becoming increasingly popular, especially among older interns, and offer young talents special advantages for their future careers.
Whether filling an internship or a permanent position: If a candidate can already show successfully completed (ideally job-relevant) internships on their CV, it’s typically a good sign and can be an indicator of various skills and interests.
Whether and when an internship is paid or not depends on the type and duration of the internship. Moreover, companies are often free to choose whether they want to pay an intern or not.
In principle, compulsory internships that have to be completed as part of school education or studies are not paid. There is no legal entitlement to remuneration here.
The situation is different for voluntary internships. If the agreed duration of the internship exceeds three months, a voluntary internship generally becomes a paid internship. The salary is a matter of negotiation, but typically the current minimum wage must be taken into account.
Companies that offer an internship can expect several benefits, both in terms of workload distribution and in terms of their talent acquisition.
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