The idea of what a strong talent pipeline looks like is changing. It was not long ago when all one had to do was post a job and a wealth of talented candidates applied. College and university recruiting consisted of setting up a table at a career fair and the resumes piled up. And while this strategy may still work on a limited basis for some companies, there simply are not enough Hoosiers to fill the high-demand, high-wage jobs employers are currently seeking.

Internship programs and other work-based learning experiences can be the answer to filling talent pipelines. College graduates in many fields today earn their degrees without the practical experience alongside it to be ready for the workplace. When this happens, employers spend thousands of dollars per new employee on training and onboarding efforts, with only an educated guess on whether the employee will stay long enough to recoup that investment.

Internships can be a cost-effective way to onboard new talent, teach them the skills needed for success in their field of study and hire them upon graduation. If meeting students when they graduate isn’t enough to find the talent you need, why not secure a head start?

Expanding the reach

Internship programs also provide employers the opportunity to find students they may not otherwise meet when recruiting talent. Many students lack the networks to directly connect with employers, because they come from low-income backgrounds or are the first in their families to go to college. An internship can be the way for employers to tap into high-quality Hoosier talent that may be otherwise hard to recognize.

In partnership with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Indiana INTERNnet hosts students and internships that qualify for the Employment Aid Readiness Network (EARN) Indiana program. EARN Indiana allows employers to be reimbursed for up to 50% of a qualified intern’s wages. If the idea of paying an intern $15 an hour sounds like too much to bear, how about paying $7.50 an hour instead?

While summer internship programs are the norm across Indiana, internships are also rapidly growing in timeframe and scope to meet student and employer needs. Companies can host interns any time of the year, for as little as eight weeks for EARN Indiana eligibility.

More students than ever are completing virtual internships as the face of where business occurs moves into the digital world. A growing number of internships are project based instead of time based. If the idea of having more hands on deck to tackle a large project sounds appealing to you, consider intern talent!

Adding up the opportunities

Indiana INTERNnet has been bringing employers, students, and educators together for over 15 years to provide high-quality internships and other work-based learning experiences. Over 1,600 students have found internship opportunities through Indiana INTERNnet since 2017, and the team at Indiana INTERNnet assists employers every day in the creation and implementation of internship programs.

My goal as executive director is to expand our reach across the state to ensure we are meeting the needs of Indiana’s high-demand, high-wage industries. We are ready to grow your talent pipeline as part of our program’s expansion.

Students who complete internships are more likely than their peers to work in their field of study after graduation. They gain workforce skills alongside their formal education, making them top talent. And if interns are hired at the same place where they intern, they become part of a seamless talent pipeline for employers.

If you have current job postings, you are far closer than you think to having an intern walk through your doors. Today’s interns are tomorrow’s employees. Why shouldn’t they be your employees?

 To learn how we can help, visit or call me at (317) 264-6852.

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