According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) Experiential Education Survey, over 47% of employers offer an internship program, and close to 40% of small businesses have extended full-time positions to former interns – proving this real-world learning experience offers a number of opportunities for employers and student workers alike.
Why Small Businesses Love Hiring Summer Interns
1. They’re Affordable
Whether you offer an unpaid internship or a stipend for the summer, you’ll find an eager pool of students looking for something more valuable than money from your small business. Many are simply looking for practical training and real-world experience.
2. Trial Basis Employees
Internships afford businesses the unique opportunity to cultivate talent from the inside. You’ll have a close-up view of an individual’s ability to learn, adapt, face new challenges, and grow – all within the boundaries of your company’s unique culture. If a candidate demonstrates exemplary work, they’ll likely be delighted when you offer them full-time employment. The intern conversion rate (successful transition to full-time hire) was more than 51% in 2015.
3. Recruiting Pipeline
Intern hiring is expected to grow by 1.7% in 2018. The hiring process can be a long and costly endeavor. Summer interns can quickly transition into a valuable employee after graduation, bypassing most of the traditional and more complicated interview process.
4. A Fresh Take
A summer intern fresh from the classroom may shed light on a project or bring new ideas to the table. Their unique perspective may be exactly what your small business needs to shake things up. 70% of the projects under development in Adobe’s research labs at any given time can be traced back to an intern.
5. Managerial Experience and Mentorship for Staff
Thinking about promoting an employee from within and giving them managerial responsibilities? A summer intern is a great way to let them get their feet wet with supervisory skills and evaluate how they delegate work before you elevate their status.
6. Brand Ambassador
Students represent a viral network of promoters for your business. An invaluable and unique summer experience can inadvertently bolster your WOM (word-of-mouth) marketing on campus. From adoption of products and services, to being a desirable place to work upon graduation, students tend to spread the word fast. 84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral.
7. Support the Community
Small business owners are encouraged to sponsor events and activities in their immediate locale. Establishing an internship program for local students shows your appreciation for the community and serves as some effective PR.
8. Practical / Experiential Learning
Experiential learning is a hot topic in education right now. Providing a hands-on, real-world experience for students through an internship program supports a bigger initiative. You’ll be respected mentors in your industry while reaffirming your position as thought leaders.
9. Longevity & Loyalty
Studies have shown that transitioning a former intern to full-time employee leads to higher retention rates. With little time to onboard or train employees, small businesses can benefit greatly from minimal turnover. A 2017 study revealed a 51.8% five-year retention rate for interns converting to full-time hires.
10. Extra Set of Hands
Are you really going to turn down the extra help? It would be a detriment to small businesses (or any business for that matter) to turn their nose up at the thought of increasing productivity. It’s a quick and easy way to complete projects, free up staff for more mission critical work, and tackle b-list projects that have been on your mind. A single, qualified manager can gain 225 full 8-hour workdays of productivity in a calendar year by effectively utilizing college interns.
Over 85% of employers have positive experiences hiring interns, and this supplemental method of staffing is invaluable to companies. Netchex partners with businesses to provide HR and recruiting support, as well as solutions that streamline workforce management responsibilities for your team.
Whether onboarding new employees or interns, or helping assess performance reviews and promote from within, Netchex HCM technology takes the pressure off your HR department and management team with automation and intelligent insights to help you focus on the big picture – growing your business.