By: Jessica Benningsdorf
In the craziness of senior year — partying, cramming in classes to get her degree in computer science, and trying to figure out her next moves — it was all going by incredibly fast for 19-year old Jordan. And, before long, she was stressed out about whether she’d be able to find a good job. It’s not just Jordan. A lot of prospective graduates often don’t have it all figured out. Many of them don’t know what options are out there for them, while others don’t feel ready to enter the job market. And then, there are some who get apprehensive about taking the plunge for the fear of making the wrong move at the start of their career.
Now, let’s take the example of Steve, a hiring manager for a tech company. He has spent several weeks digging through piles of resumes and not finding the type of candidate he needs — a classic problem most companies face.
In both cases, students and employers can benefit greatly from internships. For college students, an internship is a great way to gain experience, an insider’s view into a possible career path and to test out whether an option is right for them. On the flip side, in this age of talent shortage, an internship program enables employers to build a steady pipeline of young and qualified talents and offers them a scope to try out different candidates before zeroing in on the right one.
Internships connect employers with the community and university and provide the opportunity to foster relationships through mentorship and training. At a time when one-in-three American workers today are Millennials, companies — both small and big — are reaping benefits from introducing internship programs. Students, on the other hand, are being encouraged to get involved in internship programs in as early as high school.
Consider these stats. According to a 2014 study, 70% of companies agreed that high school students who completed their internships programs were either “very likely” or “completely likely” to land a college internship with their company. Plus, 45% believed that high school internships had high possibilities to turn into a full-time job at their company.
So, if you’ve been toying with the idea of creating an internship program at your organization, now is the time to get started.
Create a Larger Pool of Talents to Pull From
With hiring becoming more challenging than ever, there’s a steady rise in the number of interns getting converted to full time positions. A 2009 survey by from the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) found that 67.7% of interns were offered full-time positions and 83.6% of those offers were accepted. According to a more recent report, the 2014 Gallup-Purdue University study, 71% of college graduates agreed that getting engaged in an internship helped them land full-time employment.
For tech companies, the need to hire workforce-ready graduates is even higher. A survey by educational publisher Chegg revealed that 81% of hiring managers expect college students to complete a formal internship before graduating and entering the workforce.
Looking for more reasons to have a formal internship program in place? Here are some of them.
Other Benefits of Having an Internship Program:
- Community footprint. Creating internship programs can help you grow your community footprint in more ways than one. Hiring interns opens opportunities for students and fresh graduates in your community and along the way, helps your business make a difference to the local economy, local people and the locality as a whole.
- Partnerships with local universities and colleges. Recruiting interns from various colleges in your area allows you to build worthwhile networks and partnerships with local colleges and universities. This not only puts you in a position to rope in the best local talents but also makes you central to various network opportunities among local educational institutes, strengthening local economic development initiatives.
- Brand recognition. It’s a fact that top talents flock to well-known brands. Offering a well-structured internship program with hands-on training, real experience, and mentoring opportunities can increase your brand awareness and recognition among jobseekers significantly.
- Attracting/retaining employees. NACE’s 2009 survey pointed out a positive employee-retention figures for companies offering internships. According to the survey, nearly 40% of employers witnessed a higher five-year retention rate among employees they had hired through their internship programs.
- Ability to form and mold to company culture and values. Interns are more likely to blend in with your company’s work culture as a full-time employee rather than those who’ve been hired later.
In terms of how internships impact both students and companies, starting a formal internship program is an excellent way to gain the competitive advantage of mentoring and working with rising stars, and eventually being able to woo top talent for your organization.