As interns look for an internship, they are dealing with the highly competitive application and interview processes. However, the reverse is also true – as your business looks for an intern, you’re competing for the best interns with other companies who may have more resources and a stronger draw than you. In order to draw the best interns possible, you must first ask what interns want. Take a look at these seven key factors you can focus on to attract quality talent.
1. A Good Fit for Their Program
An intern who’s studying economics is more likely to look for an internship in a bank than an advertising agency. Many companies think they don’t have any control over this, but it’s all in how you sell it. If you’re looking for talent in a particular area, then make sure your posting makes it clear that you have something to offer in that area. That ad agency may initially seem like a poor choice for an economics major, but when it’s framed correctly the intern could easily see that there’s plenty of money exchanging hands, a business plan in place, and it might be a great opportunity to learn about economics after all.
2. A True Learning Experience
When it comes down to what interns want, the reality is that they are there to learn. Show them they will have a meaningful educational experience with your company or organization and they’ll be much more likely to be excited about the position and snatch it up when it’s offered.
You do want to think about what interns want, but you also want to think about what they don’t want. They don’t want to be coffee-runners who aren’t involved in the day to day activities of your business. Reach out and ask for their opinion on that new marketing plan, or for ideas on how your company can diversify their goods or services. Sometimes the newest voice is the freshest and most inspiring.
4. Clear Job Duties
For many interns, the number one complaint about their experience was that it wasn’t clear what they were there to do. Before you even begin the hiring process, sit down and outline the specific duties and goals of your intern position. During the interview process, be clear about what will be expected. This will not only entice the right type of intern, but it’ll weed out those who won’t be willing or able to complete the tasks you have in mind.
What interns want is to do good work and to learn. This is best accomplished when a specific evaluation process is in place. This evaluation could be done once at the end of the internship, or several times throughout. Either way, it should closely mirror a real employee evaluation and give specific feedback on the intern’s strengths and weaknesses.
This could be as simple as donuts on Friday or as lavish as company-paid dinners or half-day Fridays in the summer. If your company offers perks like these to employees, then they should be offered to your interns – and you should be sure your posting mentions it.
7. Their Own Space
Many companies don’t consider where the intern will be working or what tool’s they’ll have at their disposal, but an intern with their own desk and computer is likely to be much happier than an intern who is forced to flutter around looking for open workspace.