The Problem With Internships

Posted by Kate Smedley on 27 Apr 2017

A new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research[1] (IPPR) has found that the number of internships has doubled in 2017 while the number of graduates employed in high skilled jobs is falling.

Offering internships is an effective way for employers to expand their talent pool and source the best young talent available. They can also be a valuable recruitment tool to enable HR to overcome last year’s trend of graduates turning down jobs at the last minute which left 5.4% of vacancies unfilled. But in the last week, they have hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Here’s our tips for improving your intern hiring success:-

Pay your interns

The IPPR has called for a ban on unpaid internships in private businesses that last longer than four weeks to promote social mobility among young people. Instead it proposes a ‘National Opportunity Programme’ or access to a brokered work placement for every University student. While fast food chains such as Pret A Manger faced a social media storm over a shortlived scheme to offer unpaid work experience, other brands are getting it right. Publishing company Penguin House recently announced the creation of 450 work paid experience places which last for two weeks and provide accommodation for those living outside London according to an article in HR Magazine.

Create a transparent hiring process

The report suggests that while 70,000 internships are available, only 11,000 are advertised, giving rise to claims that in some cases HR offers positions to well connected individuals, or 'family and friends'. A transparent hiring process will enhance your employer brand and ability to appeal to a diverse talent pool.  Publishing, media and the arts are the sectors regarded as the least accessible to graduates from an economically disadvantaged background but a broader lack of diversity in graduate recruitment was also highlighted by the Office for National Statistics. Adjust your screening criteria to reduce unconscious bias in your hiring process by introducing the use of anonymised CVs.

Review your job posts

Support your graduate recruitment process with recruitment software which provides a hiring manager portal to ensure that all job adverts comply with company directives.  In response to concerns, media jobs board Gorkana has announced that all vacancies for internships posted to its site must clearly offer to pay job applicants the National Living Wage (or National Minimum Wage for people under 25).

Use them to enhance, not replace, graduate recruitment

Internships are becoming a ‘must have’ for young people in their job search due to concerns over graduate employability, according to IPPR. To be effective, they should therefore offer meaningful work and augment your graduate recruitment scheme, rather than replacing it. At their most successful internships offer an additional strategy for building and nurturing your talent pipeline and to invest in your future workforce. Recruitment software enables HR to accurately track the success of your internship programme and monitor retention levels among your subsequent graduate hires through HR analytics.

Re-evaluate your need for a degree

The CIPD’s latest Employee Outlook Report found that 30% of employees believe they are over qualified for their job, leading to higher rates of job dissatisfaction. Improve your hiring success by reviewing both the necessity for a degree and the quality of your graduate training scheme. Poor retention levels among graduate recruits indicates a fundamental problem in your candidate selection process or the result of promises made at interview that have not been met by the employer.

Evaluate your graduate recruitment success with world class recruitment software to help you hire better people faster. Contact Advorto today

You might also like to read:-

Can Apprenticeships Bridge The Skills Gap?

What Does ‘Graduate Employability’ Mean?

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Topics: graduate recruitment

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