Offer Rate to Interns Varies Widely by Industry

Posted September 24, 2010 by

When it comes to recruiting and retaining their interns, not all industries are created equally.

A good internship program is all about the three R’s: recruitment, recruitment, and recruitment. In other words, if your organization hires a student to intern and then fails to convert that student into a permanent employee upon the completion of their internship, then you should regard that internship as a failure. Some organizations would disagree and say that internships are provided to students to give them experience and some less altruistic organizations would say that internships are great sources of cheap labor. I can agree that students get — or should at least should get — great experience from their internships but organizations should not look upon interns as cheap labor. Given that they typically require far more supervision than experienced employees, the reality is that interns are rarely cheap. If the organization looks at the cost of producing the service or product rather than the hourly wage paid to individual employees, they’ll almost always agree that they don’t save money by hiring interns.

It is commonly known in the world of college recruiting that some organizations manage to retain a far higher percentage of their interns than others and that interns in some industries are far more likely to be retained than interns in other industries, but leave it to the Wall Street Journal to do the analysis that others haven’t. Yet another reason why I’m a subscriber and you should be as well.

This graph shows the huge discrepancies between industries. It is startling, actually. It clearly shows that an internship with a utility, architecture or construction firm is FAR more likely to lead to an offer of permanent employment than an internship with an insurance, media, or non-profit organization. So kudos to our friends in the utility, architecture, and construction industries. As for the insurance, media, and non-profits, well, you’ve clearly got a growth opportunity.

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Posted in Advice for Employers and Recruiters, Career Advice for Job Seekers | Tagged Tagged , , , , , , , ,