Great internships can make great people and the difference in attitude between your average undergraduate before and after eight weeks in industry is remarkable. Quality internships don’t just give students a flavour of the working world, they can really bring out attributes that are indispensable to large companies and, if you’ve invested time and money in your intern, it makes sense that you want to keep hold of them!
Once a good intern leaves and goes back to the world of university, though, they are back at the mercy of the graduate recruitment rush and a good portion of interns move elsewhere when they finally graduate. So, save from offering them a job, how can you make sure you turn interns into recruits?
Keep them Working
Over an eight or twelve week period it’s quite likely that your intern will have got involved with an ongoing project or perhaps even started up something new of their own. Don’t let that go to waste; why not keep your intern working remotely? Social media and marketing initiatives can easily be run remotely and students will be glad to keep a tie with their potential new employer.
Use them as Recruiters
One clever way of keeping an intern interested is to ask them to help you in finding the next batch of recruits. Interns can be involved in writing web copy to attract students like themselves and at careers fairs and events. Of course, this does rely on there being something at the other end for the student so make sure you’re appropriately rewarding their efforts.
Keep in Touch
Communication between managers and juniors is sometimes tough, but before your intern leaves it’s important to ensure a lasting connection. The exit interview is a vital tool to gauge your intern’s expectations and aspirations going forward, but it’s not enough on its own. If you’re really interested in keeping an intern, make sure you stay in good contact online and don’t be afraid to talk business; a good intern will be more than happy to know he or she is wanted back.
The hardest thing about turning interns into recruits is making sure you keep them engaged. Staying silent for eight months won’t endear your interns to your way of working so make sure you’re using all the right tools to keep them interested. Ideally, giving your interns remote responsibility is a great way of keeping them active, but if that’s not possible you should use all the online tools you can to stay in touch.
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