Employment Trend: Intern First, Then Full-Time Hire

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January 27, 2011

Increasingly, employers are looking to their internship programs to find new employees, according to results of a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Results of NACE’s 2008 Experiential Education Survey show that emphasis on hiring from the intern program is growing. Employers reported that nearly 36 percent of the new college graduates they hired from the Class of 2007 came from their own internship programs, up from 30 percent from the Class of 2005.
In addition, “more interns are getting offers of full-time employment,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. “Currently, employers say they extended job offers to nearly 70 percent of their interns; in 2001, they offered jobs to 57 percent.”
The trend toward using the internship program to feed hiring is fueled, in part, by employer satisfaction with interns and internship programs.
“Nearly 90 percent of employers who use their programs to hire say they are very or extremely satisfied with their interns, and employers consistently name the internship program as one of the most effective tools they have for hiring new college graduates,” says Mackes. “Employers see results with these programs.”
Survey findings also indicate that interns who become full-time hires are more likely to stick with the organization than their co-workers who didn’t go through the program: More than one-third of employers (37.3 percent) reported higher retention among those converted from intern to employee within the first year of hire, and nearly half (48.8 percent) said former interns had higher retention five years after hire.
Not surprisingly, employers expect to add to their intern numbers this year: Respondents project a 3.7 percent increase in the number of interns they bring on in 2007-08, building their pool of potential full-time hires for next year.
Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media at www.naceweb.org/press/.

Originally posted by Candice A

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