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HR=Humans Represent: Know what’s Hip? It’s an Internship!

This month, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) released their 2011 Internship & Co-op Survey.

And the survey says…

There’s going to be a 7% increase in internships for 2011, and this increase is expected in every region and in almost all industry sectors for which they had data. The two exceptions? Government and food and beverage manufacturing – they are reporting a significant decline in the number of interns.

For those individuals lucky to obtain internships, the report indicates that employers will obtain 40% of their new college hires in 2011 from their internship and co-op programs.

Where will recruiters spend their time recruiting for internships? There are three sources – career fairs, on-campus recruiting and on-campus information sessions.

Wonder if an internship is the way to go? The survey findings of the relationship between new hires with an internship/co-op opportunity before hiring on as an employee, and those hired on directly is an interesting finding. Statistics show that employees who come on board as an intern prior to being hired are more likely to still be with the company a year after joining the ranks of employees (75.8% are retained, whereas 60.7% of employees hired directly are retained. In five years? 55.1% of those internship employees are still there, versus 44% of the hires who didn’t have the internship.

If you’re reading this and happen to be one of those individuals interested in obtaining an internship? It’s important to understand how a recruiter makes their decisions – about an internship candidate, and the method they will utilize to recruit. I agree with the survey in that most recruiters believe that the best place to find a internship candidate an academic institution. If you’re wondering how we pick which institutions to visit, I’ll provide you a little insight. Typically we target schools for a few reasons – first (and most obviously) is the academic majors that the school offers, then there’s the reputation of the programs from which the recruiter will obtain some of their candidate pool, and finally, we are going to consider our past recruiting experience at the school. Let me clarify the last point for you – some of the decision to visit an academic institution or not is based on the institution itself (was career services helpful, the location/accessibility of the event, etc.) and another part of it is the caliber of the students (did they arrive prepared and dressed appropriately, did they have their resume and ask insightful questions).

My take on this survey is that we shouldn’t let the numbers fool us! I reviewed the participants of the survey (only a few of the employers listed were from Government entities), and not all the employers wanted to be identified – so who knows how many public sector employers participated. As far as retention rates go, I suspect there’s something to be said about coming aboard and getting a feel for the organizational climate before you make it official!

If you would like to read more about this survey, I’ve posted the key findings in my INTERNSHIPS, APPRENTICESHIPS, & VOLUNTEERING in Government group here on GovLoop.

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Stephen Peteritas

Yeah internships are really the way to go. It sucks for people who have these great degrees out of school going into one BUT what’s another 3 to 6 months when it comes to investing in your future.


Adam- Glad it gave you the extra motivation! Not sure if you are aware of this website, but they have internship opportunities and general information for interns – it’s easy to find @ http://www.internships.com.

Also, if you are looking for a federal internship – here’s an article that may be helpful – which I posted to my internship/apprenticeship/volunteering in Gov’t group here on GovLoop:


Best of luck!