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Interns: An Employer’s Secret Weapon

Written by Natalie K. Kent

Employers that utilize their internship programs are seeing tangible improvements within their organizations, among their staff, and in their expenditures. With the competitive nature of today’s hiring process, university students are seeking internships in record numbers to give themselves a leg up on their fellow applicants. It’s undoubtedly important for junior talent to gain a better understanding of their field and strengthen their resume, but internships are far from a one-way street in terms of growth opportunity.

Hiring an intern, in any capacity, creates a pathway to new interactions and fresh perspective. When working with current student interns, you become an outlet for them to apply directly what they’re learning in class and in their personal experiences. Having not seen the projects, processes, and ideas within your company, interns also bring a fresh pair of eyes to the table. As technology continues to evolve at record-breaking speed, it’s more important than ever to be cognitive of advancements being made in your field. An intern’s initial unfamiliarity can be used to your advantage in establishing cutting-edge vantage points and in streamlining processes already in motion at your organization.

In addition to a heightened understanding of current trends, interns come to you with an extra set of hands. Projects in need of some added manpower will meet their match in an intern who is excited to learn and make progress in their career goals, thus freeing more senior-level employees to more efficiently direct their time. Regarding your staff, its been widely observed that introducing a new peer into a pre-existing pool of employees often leads to self-analysis and improvement in staff. This effect is not limited to entry-level positions but can extend to managerial ones as well.

In the case that you’ve been impressed by the work ethic and skill level exhibited by your intern and are in the hiring market, the stage has already been set to offer them a full-time position. Through an internship, the fundamental system of trust needed between employer and employee is established before offering an applicant a long-term position at your company. Benefits seen through this “trial run” model can be seen particularly in terms of intern-turned-employee retention rates when compared to a more traditional new hire. Additionally, chances are your intern is reciprocally in the market for a job, also making acceptance rates to potential position offer higher than other applicant types.

Creating or reinvigorating an internship program within your company may seem daunting, but as with other decisions you’ve made as an employer, the long-term benefits often times outweigh the short-term concerns. Any time, resources, and brainpower needed for an internship program of your own will be a direct investment made into both the future generations of your staff and into the caliber of your institution.

If you are interested in recruiting Hillsdale College students to fill your internship and full-time opportunities, reach out to Ken Koopmans in Career Services at [email protected]. #HireHillsdale

Natalie K. KentNatalie K. Kent is a native of Maui, Hawai’i and six-year resident of Ave Maria, Florida, Natalie has always enjoyed the tropical climate and beauty around her. However, this Fall she traded palm trees for parkas to begin her freshman year at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI.

This summer, Natalie jumped at the opportunity to work as an intern with Hillsdale’s Career Services Team. She is thankful for the chance to explore her career interests, while also getting to know Hillsdale College and it’s impeccable staff in a unique and personal way.

Published in October 2018