• 7 ways employers benefit from summer internship programs, even if interns don’t become full-time employees

    September 08, 2016 by
    Happy business team with a focus on woman in the front

    Happy business team with a focus on woman in the front. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Summer internships are wrapping up at small and large employers across the country. College students are back to campus, and recent college grads are completing internships and looking for full-time employment. Some interns have secured full-time employment with the company for which they interned. Others are back in the job search, seeking a new job with a different company.

    It can be a dilemma for employers: Can we keep our rock star intern and hire them permanently, or do we let them go and watch them succeed somewhere else? That’s not always the best way to look at it.

    “Regardless if you are able to add a talented new college grad or entry-level employee to your staff, employers should always remember the best internships are those that are well-designed, have specific goals, and set appropriate expectations for the interns that are hired,” says Bob LaBombard, CEO of GradStaff, a company that serves as a career matchmaker for recent college graduates, and companies that are looking to fill entry-level jobs.

    Translation: If you can’t hire an intern for a full-time job, all is not lost. Here are seven reasons why:

    1. Strong Internship programs create a buzz/build your brand
    “Given the enormous growth of social media, the best internship programs are important tools in enhancing and expanding the brand image of the employer on campus and in creating positive buzz about the company,” says LaBombard. Interns talk. They spread the good – and bad – about your company. Treat them well, and your business – and reputation – will benefit.

    2. Internships help recruit for future job openings
    Every business has specific business goals and needs when hiring interns. Larger companies tend to use their internship programs as a way to evaluate interns for current or future employment (such as after graduation), while small and medium employers are more likely to hire interns to accomplish specific goals, like completing a well-defined project or to cover staff for the summer vacation season, says LaBombard. Both are crucial to business success.  And so is treating interns as you would any other employee.

    “Even if full-time jobs will be only offered to a small subset of total interns, it is essential that each intern feels that she or he benefits from the experience and was treated fairly,” says LaBombard.

    Can’t hire that intern now, don’t fret.

    “Hiring needs can change rapidly, and that intern may soon be on your radar when seeking to fill a future opening,” says LaBombard.

    Or, if that intern has a positive experience, they may seek to apply for other future job openings even after they have received one or two years of experience elsewhere.

    3. Internships build networking and business opportunities
    If your intern goes on to do great things, and had a positive experience with your company, they may come back to seek your company services in another role, mention you to clients or vendors, or seek to partner with your business for future projects. You may be developing a future business partner.

    4. Develops strong pipeline of future talent
    Did you hire a number of interns from one college or university? Did they have a great experience, but had to move on to other jobs? Don’t worry. These students will go back to their campus career center, professors, or peers, and reference the positive experience they had with your company. That means students from that college will be sure to keep your company at the forefront when seeking future internships, or full-time employment. Be honest and upfront with interns and keep lines of communications open about their performance, future opportunities, and next steps. This will ensure they view your company as a best place to work, and a place they would consider working for in the future. And a place they recommend to peers, professors, and campus career counselors.

    5. Interns can make a positive impact on corporate culture
    New ideas. New personalities. A new outlook. Those are all traits interns can bring to a department or business. This can help improve a company’s corporate culture, especially for employees who may be stuck in a rut. Maybe that new intern helps bridge some personality gaps and brings a team closer.

    “A positive corporate culture is attractive to potential future hires,” says Bill Driscoll, District Presidentat Accountemps. “As much as possible, strive to develop a positive work environment where interns make the most of their skills and are exposed to different departments so that they will view the internship as a positive experience.”

    6. Internships provide a way to get candid feedback about the company
    Before saying goodbye to interns, make sure to conduct an exit interview. “It’s important for companies to part ways professionally because there is a chance you may work together again in the future,” says Driscoll. But take it a step further – use the exit interview to learn about areas where the company could improve or concerns that come up. These are things full-time/permanent employees may never share.

    7. Helps understand true cost of recruiting and retaining employees
    Don’t think you can afford to hire an intern right now? Can you afford to let that internship go to a competitor, or can you afford to spend more money to recruit and train a new employee in the future? That star intern already has experience with your company and can move right into a full-time role without missing a beat. This saves on the costs of recruiting and hiring a new employee, and keeps business moving forward, producing results with the intern who is now a full-time employee and that is already trained in and understand their role and the company.

    An intern isn’t the only one getting invaluable experience and training. Employers can also benefit from hiring interns, even if they don’t become full-time employees. Want to learn more about how to find a great intern or improve your internship programCheck out our blog and follow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

    We believe that every student and recent grad deserves a great career. Get a personalized proposal for how best to reach your target candidates by entering your info here. We will respond within one business day.

    Thank you for submitting your request to College Recruiter for a proposal for how we can help you hire students and recent graduates of one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities for part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level opportunities.

    We will likely respond within a couple of hours and definitely within one business day. Should you need assistance even faster, please call us at 952.848.2211 or email us at [email protected].

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