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Posted September 08, 2016 by

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

 

College students are looking for internships this year, and some interns will secure full-time employment with the company for which they intern. Others will go back to the job search, seeking a new job with a different company.

It can be a dilemma for employers: Can we keep our rock star interns 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

The best interns may go on to working full timeEvery 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.

Related: Northwestern Mutual’s internship program is their solution to an aging workforce

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

Internship program fills your talent pipelineDid 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.

Also read: 5 reasons to look beyond your top schools and majors 

“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.

Posted September 06, 2016 by

10 tips for college grads who complete an internship without a job offer

Person pointing at job search

Person pointing at job search. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Many recent college graduates head into a summer internship hoping they secure full-time employment with that company once the internship is completed. But, for a variety of reasons, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Now what? How do recent college graduates and entry-level job seekers move forward in the job search when they don’t secure a full-time job from an internship?

With confidence, because they just gained the invaluable on-the-job training employers covet.

Because, for recent college graduates, the number one goal of any internship should be to gain work experience in a professional business setting, 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.

While larger companies tend use their internship programs as a way to evaluate interns for employment in a subsequent year, 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. Not getting hired full-time is in no way indicative of an interns performance on the job.

“Either way, internships are a great way for students to apply their skills in meaningful work, and learn how to receive feedback and apply coaching tips from supervisors,” says LaBombard. “Even if an internship does not result in a full-time job offer, the experience should help interns better define their value proposition to employers by gaining a more focused appreciation for the core skills they possess, and how they have been successfully applied in the workplace.”

So what should job seekers who completed an internship without a full-time job do next? Start by registering as a job seeker with College Recruiter. We’ll send you new job leads tailored to your interests and preferences and save you the trouble of searching for them on a regular basis.

Next, consider these tips from Bill Driscoll, district president for Accountemps, and Tel Ganesan, Board Chairman of Kyyba, Inc., a global IT, engineering and professional staff augmentation company, and Managing Partner of Kyyba Ventures. Both have experience working with recent college graduates who have completed internship programs. They help answer the question:

My internship is over, now what:

1. Be flexible: College graduates looking to land their first jobs need to be flexible, proactive and creative. Consider volunteer assignments or temporary work as a way to continue to gain additional experience and build your skill set, says Driscoll.

2. Network: Online and off. Many companies don’t advertise open positions, so networking plays an important role in finding out about hidden job opportunities. “Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job, whether in-person at industry association events, or using professional networking websites,” says Driscoll. “You’d be surprised at who might be able to help.”

3. Use college career center/alumni resources: College career centers usually welcome recent grads and can help in your job search. You also might be able to connect with other alumni who can provide advice. These resources are often underutilized by recent college grads who don’t go back to their college/alumni career center seeking assistance. They are ready to help you – even now that you graduated. Learn more about how to use your college career center in the job search.

4. Don’t overlook your online image: Applicants need to actively monitor and maintain their professional reputations online. Keep a clean online profile. Future employers are watching.

5. Initiate contact: Research companies you would like to work for and ask for an informational interview to learn more about the organization. “It also can help employers get to know you so you’re top of mind when that company has a vacant position,” says Driscoll.

6. Meet with a recruiter: Staffing executives can be your eyes and ears in the job market. Recruiters also provide useful feedback on your resume and interview skills, and help you locate full-time and temporary jobs.

7. Ask for references: Before your last day, ask your manager, and/or co-workers if they will be references. Professional references can sometimes hold more value than a supervisor from a work study program, or college professor (but those are both viable references if need be).

8. Update your cover letter and resume: Did you track your achievements and successes at the internship? Be sure to update this information on your resume and put it at the top of your resume, right under education. “Highlight any unique activities you partook in that may set you apart from the competition,” says Ganesan. Include project work and results, being a part of a team, technical/computer skills learned/used, and any other success story.

9. Apply for more than a handful of ideal jobs: Set target companies or jobs, but be flexible in your search. “Consider numerous possibilities, especially when you’re just starting off,” says Ganesan.

10. Use your social network: Use your social media network, as well as family and friends, to find a personal connection at particular companies. “That individual may be able to assist in securing an interview or simply provide advice and insight into the organization,” says Ganesan.

Don’t view the completion of an internship without a job as the end. View it as a new start, and a new beginning to a job search that is now backed by real world internship experience – something every employer craves.

For more tips on how to secure a job after your internship is completed, and other job search and career advice, visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedInTwitter, Facebook, and YouTube.