Every year, thousands of college students apply for internships throughout the spring, fall and summer. Whether it is for learning, experience, school credit or the desire to get a foot in the door with a certain company, internships are always in high demand. For any business looking to attract top talented workers (or to save a little money by eliciting entry-level help) an internship program can be a great thing to integrate into your company.
If you are considering hiring or even beginning an internship program at your company there are a few things you should consider to make the process easier. As a rising senior, who has held multiple internship positions within companies over the past three years I have found that the most appealing companies are those who make an effort to contact potential interns.
What do I mean? Here are a few tips and tricks to help your business attract the best and brightest interns:
1. Know Your Interns
Understanding who you are hiring is crucial to marketing efficiently and effectively. If you are a company working in a narrow industry, such as biochemical engineering, than it’s important to create a list of requirements suited for biochemical engineers. So many companies cast a wide net of requirements that it often becomes frustrating for interns to figure out who to apply too. This not only wastes students time but it also wastes yours. By creating a narrow, well-defined set of requirements you want in an intern, you will be sure to find what you are looking for and find more passionate candidates that want to work for you.
2. Create Some Hype
According to 2015 Mintel Research Reports, over 25% of millennials believe that companies and brands who don’t communicate with their customers using technology are outdated. So, get on social media and start tweeting or instagramming about opening positions, what your business is about and why they should want to work for you. The more you interact with your potential clients the more they are likely to interact with you!
3. Visit College Campuses
Take the time to go and meet who you are recruiting first hand. Set up an informational session at a college campus nearby to recruit local talent. This allows interns and your company to meet each other and it’s a great and easy way to market yourselves. Additionally, most career centers send emails informing students what organizations are visiting campus. This allows students to plan ahead of time and will likely result in a high number of students attending because it is on campus. Another way, to contact students on campus is to reach out to professors. Many business, marketing, engineering and other professors always welcome guest speakers to give advice and reinforce what they’re learning in the classroom!
4. Use LinkedIn
Advertise on LinkedIn that you are looking for interns. Many universities these days are requiring students to create a LinkedIn account. This is a time efficient and alternative way to advertise your business as well as target your marketing to college students through a few simple clicks. In fact, according to recent research LinkedIn is rated within the top three sites students use when searching for jobs or internships.
5. Provide a Hands-On Experience
To receive the greatest benefit and value from your interns, it is best to create a well-structured program that has clarity and effective communication channels before you make your first hire. Students do not want to run coffee and file papers all day and will only decrease the value of your program and make it more difficult to attract the top talent. The greatest source of learning comes from a mentor/mentee relationship and working together in real-world situations. In fact, this is what top talent wants to be doing during an internship program. Tasking interns with real world projects or putting them on a team of employees, provides intrinsic motivation, as they can see the progress and value they bring to the organization.
Finding the right fit can often be hard but don’t be discouraged, for their are plenty of bright and motivated interns out there who would love the opportunity to work for your company. But, it won’t happen overnight and will definitely take some work. So, get your company out there and marketed to the right target audience in order to pull in the people you want and get the results you need.
Keegan Thimons, pictured above, is interning with IMA for the summer.