As we enter intern season, it's important to remember why we hire interns in the first place, and we are reminded that our intern programs are such an integral part of the future workforce of our businesses. Most interns are junior and senior-aged college students looking to apply the skills and knowledge that they’ve learned throughout last three plus years in college to real-world work roles. Companies can use these skills to update and/or validate business processes (some that may be out-of-date and need a fresh perspective), fill entry-level roles that have higher turnover, and improve employee-retention rates (if the interns get hired on full-time), among many other advantageous reasons. Simply put, interns bring real value to companies.
Let’s take a step back to one of the points that I mentioned above: fill entry-level roles. The roles that typically see the highest turnover in any company are the entry-level roles due to reasons such as promotions, burnt out employees and people not being a good fit for the role or company. These entry-level roles are typically the “front lines” of your business such as customer service roles that resolve customer questions or issues, data entry, administrative assistance, etc. Some leaders even say that the front line is the bottom line, which goes to show how important and impactful these roles truly are to organizations.
According to a recent study conducted by the American Student Assistance (ASA), 62% of employers look to internships to fill their entry-level employment pipeline. If the majority of employers look to interns to fill entry-level roles, is it safe to assume that their intern program (including pay, benefits, relocation assistance, etc.) is adequate to attract skilled interns? Or is it possible that they have a nominal program and rely on pure chance that they hire the right intern for the job? As the need for interns is higher than ever, let’s hope it’s not the latter.
If your company relies on interns to fill these types of roles, when was the last time you benchmarked your intern program against your competition? When did you last make a significant change to the program? If you shrug your shoulders to either of these questions, it might be time to consider taking a proactive approach to making your intern program shine against your competitors’ and effectively fill these in-demand roles.
If you’d like to read a personal experience from one of Plus’s own interns, check out this previous trending topic article.
Our survey results indicate that companies feel internships are a way to give back to the academic community while also filling an employment pipeline and assisting with ongoing work, including research, data entry and analytics. Finding the best interns is a primary goal of companies.