What Recruiters Should Know About Summer Internships for 2013

It's summertime in the city (or country as the case may be) and you know what that means? Interns! Interns are a huge part of the workforce and we want to celebrate them. We're kicking off a series of guest blog posts from all kinds of intern experts where we'll cover internship programs, how to assess an intern, the places to go online to find quality interns.

An intern is more than a coffee barista  

An internship is a method of on-the-job training. Traditionally, internships are seen as an exchange of services or labor for experience, but there are different types of internships like paid, college credit, or even virtual internships. Often times we see the right interns ending up with a full-time job at the company for whom they were interning. This natural step saves sourcing, recruiting and training resources. Sounds like a win-win, right?

With any hire, or internship, you run the risk of choosing the wrong person, and wasting a whole bunch of time, and in turn, money. Some interns are paid, some are not, but the wrong fit will frustrate employees and mentors, slowing down the productivity of your team. A little research on interns today can go a long way in the planning of future hires.

What are they expecting?

Don't undervalue your interns-I'm kind of a big dill t-shirtFirst and foremost, this shouldn't be considered cheap or free labor for the purpose of pawning off overflow work. When you seek out an intern, you have to be ready for what that truly entails. They're taking this , experience and hands on learning. Small businesses have proven to be the best environment for interns because of the in-depth, one-on-one mentorship design. That's what they want, they are there to learn. So before you decide to offer an internship, make sure you're in it for the right reasons. Unless you and your team have the ability and time to teach an intern, consider an entry-level employee instead.

  • In 2011, 61.2% of employers made full-time offers to their interns, out of which 86.5% of the interns accepted. 
  • On-campus recruiting and career fairs are the two most effective methods of recruiting intern graduates.
  • In 2011, more than half of internships were paid.
  • Freshman interns make an average of $13.91, and seniors make an average of $17.57.
  • Interns are getting accustomed to perks such as paid vacation time, social activities and benefits like 401ks.
  • Regardless of pay, 62% of interns were interested in working full-time for their internship employer.

Considering hiring an intern? Get ready

Summer is coming, and along with it, the great intern invasion. If you're hiring for the right reasons, this can be a great experience for the company as well as the intern, but keep in mind, this isn't a houseplant, this is a person who expects a lot in return for their time and work. Whether you have one intern, or a dozen, you have to have a plan for the management of these interns. Have projects ready and in writing. Get ready to be a real mentor. 

photo credit: Frank Gruber via photopin cc

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