How An Internship Program Benefits Your Company
Mature business man works with student intern through his company's internship program.

Should you invest the time and effort into an internship program for your company? Consider these common scenarios.

Jordan’s senior year was busy. Between 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. 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. Others don’t feel ready to enter the job market. And then, there are some who get apprehensive about taking the plunge. They fear making the wrong move at the start of their career will tank their chance of success.

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. But he has not found the perfect candidate, a classic problem most companies face. How can an internship program benefit both Steve and Jordan?

A Win-Win

In both cases, students and employers can benefit greatly from internships. For college students, an internship is a great way to gain experience. Students get an insider’s view into a possible career path and can 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 qualified talent. In addition, it offers them a scope to try out different candidates before zeroing in on the right one.

Internship programs connect employers with the community and provide the opportunity to foster relationships through mentorship and training. At a time when one-in-three American workers are Millennials, companies are reaping benefits from introducing internship programs. Students, on the other hand, are being encouraged to get involved in internship programs as early as high school.

Consider these stats:

  • Those without an internship received 16 percent fewer job offers.
  • Internship experience has been ranked by recruiters as the number one candidate criterion.
  • 78 percent of first-generation students find the internship experience ‘very’ to ‘extremely’ satisfying.

Have you been toying with the idea of creating an internship program? Now is the time to get started.

Create a Larger Pool of Talent

Hiring is becoming more challenging than ever. As a result, there’s a steady rise in the number of interns getting converted to full-time positions. According to a 2019 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) study, 56 percent of 2019 college students who interned while pursuing a degree turned that experience into a full-time hire with the company. In addition, the retention rate for interns hired is 71 percent after a year. Another study from Vault noted that “‘career advancement in the chosen industry’ is the number one deciding factor when choosing an internship.”

For tech companies, the need to hire workforce-ready graduates is even higher. A survey by educational publisher Chegg revealed that 81 percent 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:

  1. 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. It helps your business make a difference to the local economy, local people and the region as a whole.
  2. Partnerships with Local Universities and Colleges. Recruiting interns from various colleges in your area allows you to build worthwhile networks and partnerships. This puts you in a position to rope in the best local talent. In addition, it’s a strategy that makes you central to various networking opportunities among local educational institutes, strengthening local economic development initiatives.
  3. Brand Recognition. It’s a fact that top talent 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. In turn, your recognition among jobseekers increases significantly.
  4. Attracting/Retaining Employees. NACE’s 2019 survey pointed out positive employee-retention figures for companies offering internships. As noted above, the retention rate for interns hired is 71 percent after a year.
  5. 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 than a new hire from the outside.

Internships impact both students and companies. Starting a formal internship program is an excellent way to gain the competitive advantage. Mentoring and recruit these rising stars! Ultimately, you’ll be able to woo top talent for your organization.

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