Internship Programs: Finding Top Talent

Written by Stephanie Kaselis

July 18, 2018

Internship Programs: Finding Top Talent

The summer months are upon us, and this is an ideal time for organizations to bring in new talent through internship programs. With an extra set of hands, fresh set of eyes, and another mind full of creative ideas, interns with impact can bring life and energy to any department.

For many organizations, the employees responsible for successfully interviewing and the interns experience just as much stress and pressure as the students applying. Here are a few steps to take to attract top quality interns with impact and implement a strong internship program:

Transparency and Tracking Down Talent
The nature of the internship post and channel in which it is placed are key factors to finding quality interns. It’s important that an internship’s description accurately reflects what the position entails. Simply uploading an old intern description onto a new job post may cause misconceptions about the position. For some organizations, intern responsibilities may change after every quarter, or in a student’s case, every semester. To avoid this conflict, make sure to update your post and advertise your internship as accurately as possible. If this is done on the employer’s end, the organization will attract interns that understand the work that is expected and can positively contribute during the duration of their internship.

Placement of the internship posting should be easy for applicants to find. There are several sites that many motivated students are familiar with. Attracting top talent is seamless with Recruitment Management Software that streamlines posts to popular job boards such as CareerBuilder, Monster, and Indeed.

Prioritizing Their Program
It's no surprise that interns want to feel a sense of importance and appreciation throughout their internship experience. For an organization to have a strong intern program, they must have a “give to get” mentality. Giving interns meaningful work that will meet their learning objectives will in turn give your organization the effort it needs to achieve its goals and mission. When employees use interns for “grunt work,” they are essentially taking away from their overall experience with the company. This will not attract future top interns.

One way to ensure that an internship program thrives is to assign an internship coordinator.  Often times, countless members of an organization utilize interns, which makes prioritizing given tasks confusing and hard to manage. For a more effective internship, employees can outline, with the intern coordinator, the tasks that they need assistance with prior to the start of the program.

The Ultimate Takeaway
To make an internship beneficial for both the intern and the organization, there has to be a collective, positive takeaway from the experience. The ultimate goal of hiring an intern is that the organization can eventually hire from within the intern class instead of hiring externally, where candidates are untrained or unaligned with the company culture. Mutually beneficial internships are a key component of many successful organizations and can result in a more knowledgeable future workforce.

This DATIS Blog was written by Stephanie Kaselis, DATIS, on April 20th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.