Experiential recruiting, at its core, is essentially a try-before-you-buy strategy: employers assign candidates with small, bite-sized projects; evaluate how well the candidates perform; and typically then hire the best for more significant work. That might mean a full-blown internship, an entry-level job upon graduation, or something else.
We’ve gathered insights from ten professionals, including talent acquisition managers and marketing directors, on the benefits their organizations have seen from using micro-internships. These benefits range from the immediate, such as real-time skill evaluation, to the long-term, such as the gain of streamlined onboarding processes.
Provide Real-Time Skill Evaluation
One advantage is that the employer can assess the applicant in real-time, leading to a perfect skill evaluation.
Micro-internships typically involve short-term, project-based assignments that allow employers to evaluate specific skills relevant to the task at hand. This focused evaluation provides a snapshot of the candidate’s abilities in a practical work context.
By assigning meaningful projects, employers can observe how candidates approach problem-solving, their attention to detail, and the quality of their work. It’s more practical than traditional recruiting methods.
Additionally, micro-internships allow employers to identify potential long-term fits for the organization based on demonstrated performance in these short, focused assignments. It’s a practical and efficient way to gauge a candidate’s capabilities before making more significant hiring commitments.
Shravan Poshetty, Manager – Talent Acquisition
Foster Early Loyalty and Recognition
For employers, micro-internships can help with recognition and loyalty. You see, the numbers show that many graduates leave their jobs within five years, and about 20% of them leave because they switch jobs. Micro-internships, which are basically short-term placements, let students get involved early with the company and industry. This helps them figure out if they really want to pursue this career in the long run.
In a micro-internship, students will remember the organizations that gave them this chance, especially in the post-pandemic world. Plus, it’s a cost-effective way to retain skilled employees. Micro-internships can create loyalty by building a sense of connection and gratitude between students and employers. When students feel like an organization has helped them start their career journey, they’re more likely to stay loyal and committed.
Precious Abacan, Marketing Director, Softlist
Boost Corporate Social Responsibility
I appreciate the opportunity micro-internships provide to enhance our company’s social responsibility profile. Offering these short-term, flexible opportunities demonstrates our commitment to supporting the next generation of professionals. This not only benefits the interns but also enhances our company’s reputation as a socially responsible and supportive employer.
Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing, Ninja Transfers
Enhance Business Agility
Due to its capacity to increase agility, micro-internships provide businesses with a unique advantage in experiential recruiting. These brief, focused assignments help businesses quickly adjust to changing consumer needs.
Micro-internships, in contrast to regular internships, offer businesses a flexible workforce approach by enabling them to swiftly onboard specialized talent for specific projects. This flexibility comes in quite handy in fields where quick decisions and responses are critical. Employers can effectively meet urgent demands, test out new concepts, and handle market fluctuations with a flexible workforce by utilizing micro-internships.
This flexibility also puts the company in a position to succeed in competitive environments while also improving project outcomes. Employers can remain flexible and adaptable in the face of business challenges by utilizing micro-internships as a strategic lever.
Adrian Hall, Business Development Manager, Pharmacist Schools
Access Fresh Industry Insights
Micro-internships have helped us stay agile and responsive to industry changes. By engaging with students or recent graduates, we gain insights into the latest industry trends and academic advancements. This keeps us connected to the newest developments in our field, ensuring that we remain competitive and innovative in our business practices.
Brooke Webber, Head of Marketing, Ninja Patches
Invigorate Team Morale
I’ve observed that micro-internships can significantly boost team morale. The presence of eager, learning-focused individuals can invigorate the team and bring new energy to the workplace. This can lead to increased productivity and a more positive work environment for everyone.
J. Tucker Merrigan, Managing Partner, Sweeney Merrigan
Target Skill Development
A key benefit of micro-internships is that they allow for more targeted skill development. We can design micro-internships around specific skills or technologies that are relevant to our industry. This focus ensures that the intern’s learning directly applies to our business needs, creating a mutually beneficial situation.
Mark Varnas, Principal SQL Server DBA and Consultant, Red9
Encourage Cross-Departmental Collaboration
Micro-internships provide a platform for cross-departmental collaboration within our organization. By having micro-interns work on projects that require input from various teams, it encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing. This not only benefits the project at hand but also fosters a culture of teamwork and integrated problem-solving among our permanent staff.
Ryan Hammill, Executive Director, Ancient Language Institute
Diversify Candidate Evaluation
One advantage I’ve found with micro-internships is that they allow for a broader evaluation of candidates from different backgrounds.
Traditional internships or full-time roles often attract a similar type of candidate, whereas micro-internships, due to their shorter duration and flexibility, can appeal to a more diverse applicant pool. This diversity brings in fresh perspectives and ideas, enriching our company’s creativity and problem-solving capabilities.
Hardy Desai, Founder, Supple Digital
Streamline Onboarding Processes
Micro-internships have been beneficial in reducing the time and resources typically spent on extensive onboarding processes. These short-term placements require more focused and condensed training, which is efficient for both the interns and our team. This streamlined process allows interns to quickly start contributing to projects, making the entire experience more productive.
David Gaglione, Founding Partner, PS212