Revamping Your Internship Program to Attract Top Talent
There are two primary reasons for revamping your internship program:
- You want to bag top talent when it’s easiest – when potential candidates have just graduated (after their first job, it becomes a lot harder to hook them).
- To attract millennials, especially in the insurance industry, which will need an influx of people to replace the 50 – 60 year olds (the average age of insurance professionals) who are getting ready to retire. The reason for attracting millenials, is to create a new spurt of innovation in an industry which has a reputation for being outdated.
In order to attract this younger generation of professionals, the outdated internship programs need an overhaul. This is what we’ll address in this article.
Find out what your audience wants
Before revamping your internship program, you need to find out what millennials actually want.
Here are some ideas of what they most value, to give you a boost in the right direction:
- Millennials desire skills development, so it’s a good idea to list what they will learn in the job post.
- Over and above all else, the student wants a significant experience. Find a way to mix the mundane with the exciting parts of the position.
- Make them part of a team. Mix permanent employees with interns, so that they can work together, and the students can learn from the more experienced people.
- Offer social opportunities. Young people enjoy social events, so be sure to include them, and make them about team bonding.
- Allow as much flexibility as possible, within guidelines.
- If you are searching for local interns, you won’t need to provide travel or accommodation, but if you want national interns, you will need to include this as a benefit.
- Offer compensation. Many companies think they’re doing students a favour by allowing them to work for them, but if you are aiming to get top talent from internship programs, then you need to make your program attractive to the top workers.
Employ methods to source the traits you want
What is your objective by offering intern programs? Is it for someone to perform brain-numbing work to save costs on doing tasks that don’t require full-time employees?
Or is it to nab the best of the younger generation to become your employees over time?
If you want to attract top talent, which is why you’re reading this in the first place, then you need ways of finding out what you are looking for in millenials and by what standards they will be selected. For instance, if you were looking for people to fit a certain organisational culture, what traits would they need? If you want people who think out-of-the-box, what would you look for?
It’s no use allowing just anyone on your intern program if they are not the right kind of people for your company in the first place. Google, for example, looks for “googleyness” in applicants, and so you can set up your own “googleyness” elements…
Prep them properly
Don’t just put interns to work.
Prepare them as best you can. Implement tactics to empower them to gain confidence in their work fast. You may want to set up an intern onboarding program for this.
Granted, onboarding programs take time to set up, but if your aim is to get the best of the interns to stay when the internship is over, then you need to prep them as if they were already precious to you.