What is it that makes an internship program so attractive to employers? Is it because interns are cheap labor? Do employers see value in fresh perspectives? Or is it because interns help increase company productivity?
For employers who are looking for the cream of the crop among college-educated, entry-level employees, an internship program is the best way for them to build a pipeline of talented, young professionals. And while internship programs highly benefit employers, students are also seeing the value in participating in an internships. Internships often open many doors for students and help them gain a perspective on their possible career path. Above all, internships can lead to full-time positions out of college.
If you or your company is considering whether or not to develop an internship program here are some things to consider:
- Future Employees. An internship program can be viewed as a cost effective recruiting tool and a continuous pipeline of future employees. Colleges are always looking for companies that are willing to partner with them as they want to help students get internships and full-time positions out of college.
- Increase Productivity. Internship programs allow employers to take advantage of short-term support and an extra set of hands. Current employees will feel the benefit of having the extra support and will act as a preventative measure so employees don’t become overwhelmed. Current employees will then be free to undertake more creative tasks or those tasks where higher-level, strategic thinking or expertise is required.
- Low Cost Labor. Interns are an inexpensive resource. As an employer you are not obligated to pay benefits such as unemployment or workers’ compensation insurance or healthcare premiums. Severance packages also do need to be considered should you have to let them go or not hire them as full-time.
- Increase Employee-Retention Rates. It’s a common occurrence for employers to hire an employee because they made a great impression in their interview, but then they just didn’t ‘fit’ with the company culture. Because of this, hiring an intern allows you as the employer to get an idea of how they will perform as a fulltime employee. According to NACE’s 2009 Experiential Education Survey, almost 40% of employers reported a higher five-year retention rate among employees they’d hired via their internship programs.
- New Perspective. Interns are not just additional labor and an extra set of hands. Interns bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to the organization.
- Give Back to Your Community. Creating an internship program is a great way to give back to your community. Hiring interns not only supports students and education but it also enhances your local economy.