Interns are an integral part of a developing business, but finding the perfect intern for a stint at a company can be a challenging process. The recent developments in all industries and the situation with COVID-19 makes fall internships this year a little different from previous years. This fall's batch of interns will be facing a brand-new employment environment and a largely remote working space.
Companies are nothing if not adaptable, and finding the right intern to operate within the restrictions of society will require extensive adaptation by the business. Below, eight members of Forbes Human Resources Council weigh in on how companies can improve their searches for interns this fall, and explain their reasoning for their suggestions.
1. Complete A Gap Analysis
Complete a gap analysis around your internship program and what it will be missing as you adapt and pivot it. By understanding the differences of how your internships will need to be run going forward, you can establish the right structure, priorities and expectations for not only interns, but also for managers. Managers will be clear on what they need to adjust to ensure it's a productive experience. - Jessica Adams, Brad's Deals
2. Meet Students Where They Are
One way I have adapted to the new normal is by offering lecturing topics to professors and being a part of their online classes — this allows me to sell my internship opportunities while providing more information about the company. Then I give my information for those who wish to apply for the opportunity. It is now about meeting the students where they are, which is in online lectures. - Kelly Loudermilk, Inc.
3. Target High-Engagement Schools
My organization is targeting high-engagement schools in the metropolitan areas with established educational programs that support our lines of business in our large market locations. Creating this refined approach helps us create an innovative, dynamic and rewarding experience for our interns and helps ensure our ability to convert talented students post-graduation to continue to build our team. - Dedra Ward, Equifax, Inc.
4. Give Up Unpaid Internships
Being a student in 2020 is incredibly complex. Not only is educational execution a moving target, but for those entering their final semester(s), the uncertainty of the job market must be terrifying. A concrete consideration would be to abandon unpaid internships, or to pay more. Help them prepare for their uncertain future. - Jeremy Ames
5. Convert Summer Interns To Brand Ambassadors
Employers should convert their summer interns to brand ambassadors now, highlight flexible schedules, and remote work. Conduct informational sessions (online/offline), helping prospects understand what's in it for them. With mass layoffs, the talent pool is more diverse and readily available. Use multichannel recruitment campaigns to engage and expand intern pools across generations successfully. - Jay Polaki
6. Add informational Webinars To Recruiting Efforts
This is the perfect opportunity to add informational webinars to your recruiting efforts for fall internships. Webinars have the benefits of being as personal or as anonymous as the attendee wishes, with availability for “in-person” and chat function questions. Capturing attendee contact information also allows for future push notifications. - Sherrie Suski, Tricon American Homes
7. Screen Candidates Who Are Highly Organized
It's important to screen candidates who are highly organized and effective at managing their time. Working in the remote world where we find ourselves, it's important to hire people who are self-starters and will be productive on their own time, since they won't be sitting next to you in an office. This opens up the candidate market across the country or globe, so you can hire the best of the best! - Polina Wilson, Unruly
8. Target Visual, Auditory And Reading Learners
Normally, it’s important for an internship program to cater to all types of learners — visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic (doing). However, with many of this year’s internships taking place online, there will be less opportunity for kinesthetic learning. Employers should therefore target interns in their selection process who demonstrate qualities of the other three learning types. - John Feldmann, Insperity