According to an article from youngmoney.com 85% of companies use internships and similar practical education programs as a strategy for recruiting full-time employees.
In addition to creating a pipeline of able candidates, internships give the employer a chance to test skills, evaluate work ethic and most importantly, allows an employer time to assess whether or not the intern would be a good fit within the culture of the organization.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers survey reports that employers feel that interns are the best source of new full-time employees. If this is truly the case why are most internship programs are poorly thought out?
What do Interns Want?
Below you will find some best practices to consider when developing an internship program designed to convert an intern into a full-time employee.
- Give Interns Real Work – When getting the most out of an intern as a business resource, meaningful work is a key component. An intern needs to know that their work is contributing to the success of an organization.
- Give Interns a Home – Make sure your interns have their own work space and have a manager that can help guide and mentor them during their internship. Help keep your interns engaged by inviting them to meetings and other company events.
- Expose Your Interns – Facilitate opportunities for your interns to interact with key members of your organization. Invite them to a lunch and learn given by the CEO or other senior manager. Considering given them a small roll in the coordination of a roundtable or other event hosted by your organization.
- Communicate with your Interns – Take time to get to know your interns, find out what their long term career interests are and discuss what opportunities may be available that align with them. Ask your interns for tips on how the program can be improved.
- Be Frank about Full-Time Opportunities – Don’t leaving your interns wondering about a full-time position. If you are not planning on hiring your intern full time, be timely and upfront about it. Give your intern constructive feedback so they can work on developing themselves.
Creating an engaging internship program is a time investment but certainly one that is necessary in order to capitalized on today’s intern talent pool. By following the above mentioned best practices you will be on track to creating a successful and well thought out internship program.