Intern season is upon us, and most agree that interns can be a great asset to a company. College intern programs provide unparalleled experiential learning opportunities for students as pre-professionals seeking to boost their knowledge and competencies and offer a host of employer benefits, some of which are:
a source of highly motivated talent,
students that bring new perspectives to old problems,
quality candidates to assist in diversity recruitment efforts,
a flexible and cost effective workforce for project work, and
a proven cost effective way to recruit and evaluate potential employees.
There are a wide variety of college intern programs and an immense number of details to be contemplated. Some of the questions that companies often must consider are:
Will you pay the intern and if so, what will you pay them?
Where will you put the intern within the office?
What sort of academic background and experience do you want in an intern?
Who will have the primary responsibility for managing and evaluating the intern?
And the list could go on but let’s consider this one:
Is relocation needed and if so, what benefits will you provide as part of the program?
Per the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 55% of employers provide relocation assistance to interns and the median dollar amount allotted was $1,500, with a range between $1,000 and $5,000. The most common components of relocation assistance include housing stipends and moving allowances.
Consider these benchmarking statistics related to relocation assistance provided to interns.
Best Practice #4: Provide housing and relocation assistance. Few employers can afford to provide fully paid housing for interns, but you’ll find that you get a lot of appreciation if you offer any kind of assistance toward housing expenses. If that’s not possible, provide assistance in locating affordable housing: For those relocating to the job site, the prospect of finding affordable, short-term housing can be daunting. Easy availability of affordable housing will make your opportunity more attractive to students, broadening your pool of candidates. If you can pay for all or some of your interns’ housing, be sure to design (and stick to) a clear policy detailing who is eligible. This will eliminate any perceptions of unequal treatment. In addition, be aware that employer-paid or employer-subsidized housing is considered a taxable benefit.