Starting and running a successful internship program is something every business, big or small should consider. There are many reasons to start an internship program now, but I’ll give you five to get you on the road to making it a reality.
Five Reasons to Start an Internship Program
1. Create a pipeline of future employees.
When you are ready to add full or part-time staff, what better source of candidates then the people you already know? More frequently companies are turning to their intern pool first to fill open positions. In fact, according to the 2016 NACE Survey, employers offering interns jobs is at a 13-year high, “the average offer rate is 72.7 percent.”
2. Increase new employee retention.
An internship provides more than ample time for a company to truly evaluate someones potential to join the team, manage the work and contribute to the company. For an intern, working at a company for a few weeks exposes them to the culture, management and work flow so they can determine if it is a fit for them as well. “Historically, full-time, entry-level hires converted from an employer’s own internship or co-op program are more likely to persist with the employing organization than their counterparts who have no experience or who gained it through another organization’s program” based on the 2016 NACE Survey.
3. Affordable help to grow your business.
Internships can be paid or unpaid. There are however, many rules and regulations regarding the criteria for hiring paid vs unpaid interns. Even with a paid internship program, the compensation for interns is generally less than the cost of hiring a full or part-time employee. Low cost help should not be a motivation, but compensation can be a benefit to both the employer and the intern.
4. Motivated team members breath new life
Interns are largely super motivated new members of your team. For an intern, the opportunity to take what they have been learning in a classroom and see how it applies to real life is what they have been waiting for. Also, they are trying to put their best foot forward in hopes of getting hired. Motivated new team members can bring a shot of energy and enthusiasm that can reinvigorate others around them.
5. Fresh perspective
When your brainstorming sessions are filled only with people who have been with the company for years, a fresh new perspective from an outsider might provide the spark for some new ideas. Current college students and recent graduates are aware of new trends, methods, strategies, and social media you might need to reach a different generation. Hiring interns can bring fresh ideas and new approaches to old problems.
Creating an internship program is about leading, teaching end empowering young people with knowledge, skills and training for future success. If you are not ready to lead and teach, you might not be ready to put together a winning internship program. For good measure, I’ll add a bonus reason you should start an internship program.
6. Giving back and being a mentor.
The best internship programs understand that the bigger picture is also about helping develop future talent whether or not they will be working for you. Being a mentor, serving young people who are eager for success and giving students a look at the reality of what it is to work in their professions should be high on your list of reasons why starting an internship program is on your mind.
The goal of any great internship program is about creating an experience that will benefit the intern and the business.
If you are ready to take the steps and get started with your own internship program, download my free guide, 10 steps to launching an internship program. Don’t keep waiting, make a move in the right direction and start planning your program now.
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