Summer Is Over, But Your Workforce Needs Remain

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Mike Slocum, Executive Director, Indiana INTERNnet Mike Slocum, Executive Director, Indiana INTERNnet

What if I could provide you with one basic piece of advice that would give you an edge in finding and recruiting top talent? I thought you might be interested.

But first, we must compare what the student talent landscape once was to what it is today. Go back a number of years and many of us, or at least I, experienced the following:

We attended a residential college/university for a bachelor’s degree. We took classes full time in the fall and the spring, and we moved back home for the summer. With time on our hands, we then went to work full time and potentially completed an internship.

In addition, the “typical” school year often started after Labor Day and ended in May. There was a summer work/internship season that was standard on the calendar.

Fast forward to today.

Yes, some students follow a similar path. But a growing percentage do not. They may go to college part-time. They may attend classes online or have multiple internship requirements that can’t be met during the summers alone.

More programs, and even entire postsecondary institutions, are requiring their students to complete an internship(s) as part of their college experience. Academic leaders, including at the high school level, have recognized that earning a diploma or degree alone does not make someone qualified for the 21st century workforce.

Many students are available to intern year-round and would be willing to stay with your organization to learn more. Combining classes and company time is a common experience. Or, if your interns did return to campus, what can they do to continue to assist on a remote basis? Are there special projects the interns can continue to work on?

As far as that calendar, one can pretty much toss it aside – from both the academic and business sides of the equation. Forgive the cliché, but we are living in a 24/7/365 world. One must be ready to adjust and adapt to the needs of the moment.

Don’t let the end of summer and the now-empty desks in the workplace that were home to the young talent signal the end of your internship successes. Students spent the summer working at your companies, applying what they learned in the classroom. They received insight into your industry and organization, and you gained access to future full-time team members.

As many as 50% of interns are hired by their host companies after graduation. This addition to the traditional talent pipeline helps companies stay ahead in an increasingly competitive talent environment.

The question of the day: Why do most companies only host interns during the summer? The answer: I don’t know. But the possibilities, in part, are the advice promised at the beginning of this column.

Far fewer companies recruit and host interns during the fall and spring. With that being the case, you often have the choice of the very top talent. And those “regular” academic year semesters provide a longer timeframe for both an increased return on your investment and evaluation of the intern’s performance to help meet long-term needs.

What are you waiting for? More than 1,200 students are currently searching for internships on our platform at www.IndianaINTERN.net. Visit today or give us a call at (317) 264-6852.

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