In parts 1 & 2, you determined your organization’s goals for the internship program, outlined the duties and requirements of your intern, clarified the structure of the internship position(s), and decided how you will compensate your interns. Today’s post will focus on the next steps, Recruiting Superstar Interns.
Disclaimer: This section will provide guidance for employers building their programs independently of a school/program. In the case that you are partnering with a school or academic department, you may find that there are requirements that you must consider while recruiting your students.
A job description that’s on par with a full-time, professional opening will help attract a high-caliber pool of applicants. Personally, I’m a fan of keeping things are straightforward as possible (no trendy language or exclamation points) though I understand that some organizations/cultures like to represent themselves with that sort of thing. Ultimately, it’s up to you. My main suggestion is to remember what it’s like to be a student without years of experience in a field – the clearer, the better. Some previous blog posts with specific details and recommendations are available here, here, and here.
At the very least, I recommend including Title, Descriptions of both Duties & the Organization, Qualifications, Compensation, Location, and Full-Time or Part-Time designation. UCI’s ZotLink also prompts employers to include a few other details, including duration, hours per week, and job function.
Where to post?
Most, if not all, colleges and universities have an online job board. For example, here at UCI, we have ZotLink, which employers can use for free to post jobs, review resumes and sign-up for events. By all means, get your posting up as soon as you are ready to begin recruitment. You never know what kind of response you’ll get. Some of you may hear from ideal candidates a few hours after posting. If you are not committed to recruiting from a certain university, then be sure to get your posting out to as many schools as possible (note: many universities share software that allows you to post to multiple schools at once, for a fee).
Be sure to that you also include the job description on your company website, especially if you have a “Careers” page. Students will often go straight from the posting to your company website to check things out, so you’ll want to be sure that the opportunity is present and consistent in both places.
What else can be done?
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of additional options for you to get the word out about your internship opportunities. Now, some may require additional budget, but not all. Here are some further ideas, with ($) to indicate those that are likely require additional fees, which will vary depending on the school:
- Establish a presence for the opportunity on Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter/etc.
- Host information sessions on local college campuses ($)
- Reach out to relevant student groups of interest about your opportunity. For example, UCI’s student organization directory is available to the public, and employers are welcome to search the listings for professionally oriented clubs.
- Purchase additional advertising space on local campuses ($)
- Do you have former interns, or other GenY employees willing to speak about their experiences? Post some testimonials on YouTube or on your company’s website
- Schedule a visibility table in a high-traffic location at a local campus ($)
- Participate in a Career Fair ($)
- Make sure all your internal employees know about the opportunity – some may want to refer candidates
Whew! Hopefully that lists helps you get started. Stayed tuned for Post #4: Hiring & On-Boarding, to help you plan what to do with the lucky few that get hired. Side note: there will be a few days in between this post and the next, as I’ll be off campus for much of tomorrow & Friday, with our Winter Internship and Career Fair in between on Thursday.