The Importance of Internship Programs

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The Graphs:

The 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey Report, published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), covers a multitude of aspects regarding employers’ internship programs. This set of graphs focuses on the purpose of internship programs and the conversion of those interns into entry-level hires.

The Message:

Internship programs are an excellent way to connect with new talent and strengthen your recruiting pipelines. Based on the NACE survey, three-quarters of companies feel the primary purpose of their internship program is to recruit for entry-level roles. This is a smart method of onboarding less experienced employees because it generates a highly efficient conversion funnel. Two-thirds of interns are offered a position after their internship, and three-quarters of those receiving offers accept the role. As a result, approximately half of all interns are hired.

These intern-to-hire employees can hit the ground running because they already know aspects of the business operations, and you’ve provided them with valuable hands-on experience. The fact that the intern knows what it’s like to work at your company and accepted the position suggests that they like the work environment, which bodes well for their future employment tenure. Employees who complete internal internships (internships at the company where they are hired) are much more likely to be retained; more than 70% stay for their first year, and over half are still around after five years. Those who did an external internship (an internship at another company) still benefit from the real-world experience, though their retention numbers are slightly lower. Entry-level hires that have never done an internship are much more difficult to retain. More than half of these employees will leave within their first year, and only 36% stay for at least five years.

If your company has a lot of entry-level roles, and you’re having difficulty filling them, or retaining the new hires, consider starting an internship program. These programs can greatly benefit your recruiting efforts, helping you find solid new talent, while simultaneously supporting students by giving them the experience they need to be successful in your industry.

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