Corporate internship programs may be more valuable to companies than ever before. Just like we are seeing when it comes to companies determining how to structure work for their employees, internship programs are having to evolve and are also running the gamut from completely virtual to completely onsite at the office. This information provided by Comparably shares examples of some of the companies they feel offer the best internship programs. The list includes RingCentral, Guidewire Software, Salesforce, WilsonHCG, Fanatics, Lowe's, Farmers Insurance and Asurion. There are many other companies out there offering "top notch" intern offerings that are not on this list, too. In fact, we work with many companies that have world-class intern programs; however, it is certainly interesting to look at how others are approaching and structuring the upcoming intern summer season.
In an older post, ("Are you ready for your summer interns?") we explored the value and benefits to the company of intern programs, and explored how global mobility gets involved to support these "new hires." NACE has shared the executive summary of their 2021 Internship and Co-op Survey Report that explores key aspects of employers’ internship and co-op programs, including hiring projections, conversion and retention rates, compensation data (wages and benefits), recruiting strategies and information about program structure.
Last year, many bigger companies were able to pivot their internship programs online, but others were not as fortunate. In fact, 22% of internship offers were revoked last spring due to the pandemic. But that number is expected to decrease dramatically in 2022. Beyond confirming that in this current talent environment, companies are maintaining their focus and appreciation for the strategic value of intern programs to help seed their talent pipelines, NACE shares that last summer, over 80% of internships were virtual or hybrid.
The overall level of effectiveness of these internships rated highly for these three goals:
- in converting interns into full-time employees
- as a branding opportunity
- in completing meaningful work for the organization
We suggest if you fall into this category, you consider things like upping your technology game, creating virtual hangout spaces for interns to mix and meet, and consider a stipend for home office support.
Obviously, if internships are in person or even hybrid with an office experience, then companies have to consider interns' needs like travel, housing and cost of living. Specific to housing, NACE shares insights from a few companies in how they help interns manage:
"One company offers interns relocation assistance if they live more than 50 miles from their office location. A program manager within HR works with a vendor to manage intern housing. The company also reimburses travel up to $750 and puts interns up in an extended stay hotel. Another employer offers all interns student housing. If interns are located at a corporate office, they are housed at a local university in a four-bed apartment with other interns. If they are located at a plant, they are offered a lump sum and assistance from a rental services firm to find summer housing. Both these respondents report that the relocation assistance they provide to their interns is in addition to the interns’ wages has no impact on their hourly rate. A career services practitioner also weighed in and said that, in her experience, it works best when a company gives interns a housing stipend that is not deducted from the rate of pay the intern receives and lets them decide where to live. She recommends the organization provide a list of properties that would work well for interns, especially if the organization is recruiting interns who are not local."
One especially positive outcome of our remote internships is that we are able to broaden our reach to recruit and hire interns from countries and regions beyond where our Guidewire offices are located. We pivoted to a fully digital interview experience and attended 30+ virtual fairs around the globe. As we look to the future, we see our intern program evolving to a hybrid model, with a mix of onsite and remote interns, to continue achieving our talent development goals and providing the best possible experience for our interns.