How to Recruit Interns Effectively

Eric Lee

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The Graphs:

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) recently published its 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey Report, providing insight into employers’ internship programs. This pair of graphs covers responses on how to source and recruit interns.

The Message:

While internship programs can bolster your entry-level recruiting efforts by establishing strong connections with new talent, they do require a hiring process of their own. Most candidates are sourced either via open applications or contacts at career centers. If you don’t have strong connections with career centers or faculty, and your candidate pipeline is lacking, there are many methods for generating additional candidates. Even if your internships are in high demand, and you don’t have issues getting applications, it’s helpful to know that some techniques are better than others for finding outstanding talent.

In general, recruiters agree that job fairs and on-campus visits are extremely effective means of finding interns. There are several methods that, despite being commonly used, are thought to be generally ineffective. These less ideal recruiting techniques include job listings on career center websites and your corporate website, as well as referrals from alumni and current or past interns. Less popular recruiting techniques are also thought to be less effective, including open houses and advertising.

If you’re looking to improve the quality of your internship candidates, face-to-face efforts are highly effective. They may be more time intensive, but attending job fairs and visiting campuses are among the best ways to make connections with students and build relationships with colleges. In the long run, those ties can strengthen your intern program, which in turn can improve your entry-level employee pipeline. Whether or not you have the resources to focus on face-to-face outreach, consider reposting your internship with us to increase its visibility!