Internships are on the rise and hotter than ever. Recent studies and reports have shown that more companies are hiring interns than ever before. Not only are companies increasing the amount of interns, but there is also a steady increase across the US in virtual internships. With the increase in participation and need for interns, the search for the top quality candidates is also becoming more competitive. There are some important strategies for ensuring that businesses get the best interns.
Here are some best practices that will help you get top quality intern talent:
Cream of the Crop
Try to target and hire college students from top schools. The logic here is that they have already been through a rigorous vetting process to get into their school or university. This vetting process is an extra layer of screening that has already been done for the business owner.
This does not mean that you should exclude candidates from smaller or lesser known schools.
It is important to remember to give interns exciting and challenging work. The last thing that you should have your interns doing is making photocopies or going on Starbucks runs. That’s a waste of time for everyone involved. Show the intern how their internship is directly correlated to the growth and/or profitability of the company. To attract the best interns, not only should you describe the exciting and challenging work when you write the job description, but also expand upon it in the interview process.
It can be beneficial to allow interns to have the option to work “virtually.” Not everyone wants to pack up and move for an internship or even have to commute for that matter. Many students want to take an internship during the semester, rather than during the summer. A virtual internship allows the student to be flexible in terms of their internship work hours, work days (of the week) and most importantly work location. To complete an internship from their own dorm, apartment, or house is very attractive to many potential interns.
It is very important to ask for referrals. If you’ve had a superstar intern in the past, you might want to ask them if they know of any students or friends who are also “A” players. Don’t forget that today many students have a mandatory internship requirement for graduation. It’s easy to get referrals from your past interns, especially right at the conclusion of their internship. And, you can easily find out through your interns fulfilling a class requirement the contact information of their professor (or even get an introduction from your intern) so that you may directly follow up with the professor to find your next semester intern.
By following these simple strategies you will be able to go out and find the best and brightest interns out there to help you grow your business.