Internships as Organizational Strategy

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In employer’s prospect, hiring from Internship pool is more efficient that hiring from standard resume pool from the market. Employees converted through Internships has more retention rate and less turnover. Voluntary employee turnover is expensive. Companies that successfully retain the best and brightest employees save money and protect their intellectual capital. Traditional approaches to understanding turnover place accumulated job dissatisfaction as the primary antecedent to voluntary turnover.

Several studies demonstrate that the most powerful source of long-term competitive advantage is human and social capital (Becker, Huselid, & Ulrich, 2001; Pfeffer, 1995). Firms that attract, develop, and retain top talent will thrive; those that do not will face significant struggles. All firms will be challenged to find the right people and keep them. As noted by Fishman (1998), ‘The search for the best and the brightest will become a constant, costly battle, a fight with no final victory. Not only will companies have to devise more imaginative hiring practices; they will also have to work harder to keep their best people. Human capital is the investment in human resources in order to increase their efficiency.

In fact, the costs of this investment are provided for future use. Therefore, the learning organization chooses the investment in individuals, because people are valuable human capital with different qualities (Burund & Tumolo, 2004). Generally, organizational capital is a cohesive collection of qualitative features, including educational, skilled, and cultural, which creates value added for the organization (Namasivayam & Denizci, 2006). The survival of organizations depends on their power of rebuilding. This rebuilding is accomplished through adapting the goals to the present circumstances and improving the methods of accomplishing these goals.

Therefore, organizations must encourage creativity and innovation, since non-creative organizations will become defunct or modify themselves (Daft, 1998). Human resources can help the company with having competitive advantage and value added and operating comprehensive quality plans. Employees can create the predictions at different level of the organization, define the values, missions and goals, design strategic plans, and implement those plans according to values.

Value added can be reinforced through motivating and training the employees (Armstrong, 2008). Interns are often well-suited to help with value-added emergent or “back-burner” projects that would not otherwise be done, at far less labor cost while simultaneous allowing full-time employees to focus on more immediate priorities. Taylor (1988) defined internships as, “structured and career-relevant work experiences obtained by students prior to graduation from an academic program” (p. 393). (Gault, Redington & Schlager, 2000) stated that internships “generally refer to part-time field experiences and encompass a wide variety of academic disciplines and organizational settings.”

The first definition seems a bit too restrictive (i.e. some internships may be relatively unstructured and may even occur right after graduation), and the second seems a bit vague and may preclude some full-time paid internships. Numerous articles address the potential benefits and costs for employers who utilize interns (e.g. Ames, 1986; Mihail, 2006; Pianko, 1995; Ryan and Krapels, 1997). Extra labor capacity and the opportunity to try out a potential future staffer are the most common reasons given by employers for using interns (HR Focus, 2005). In addition to compensation efficiencies, hiring an intern for a full-time position after the assignment can lead to savings in the areas of recruitment and selection. There are typically very low recruiting costs associated with interns compared to other hires.

Internships are also an extended “tryout”. They help improve job selection through providing a low-cost, low-risk opportunity for employers to evaluate interns as prospective employees, even as they contribute productive work. Internship programs also help fulfill a secondary public relations/recruiting role because a successful intern is likely to tell friends and career counselors that a particular company is a good place to work. Further, well-qualified individuals are more likely to join companies that they know from experience than firms they only know about second-hand.

Together these factors indicate that internship programs can be a cost-efficient means to ensure that a steady stream of talented young employees join the organization. This should be especially useful for organizations without large staffing and compensation budgets. Once hired, former interns also do not need the same degree of socialization, training, and adjustment period that most new college hires require. A former intern is more of a “known quantity”, and thus, an employer can better place the person in a position that will best suit the company. Assuming that the intern has demonstrated some work proficiency during the internship, the intern may be knowledgeable enough to contribute relatively quickly after hire. They may also bring new ideas or perspectives to the work from their academic studies, adapted to the relatively familiar context which would serve as an advantage over other new hires.

Although research evidence is limited, interns may also be more loyal towards the company and stay longer than the average non-intern hire without such an extended organizational socialization experience. In addition, organizations are likely to achieve higher retention rates when they hire their interns for full-time positions (D’Abate et al., 2009). Internships not only reduce costs, but also increase flexibility in recruiting, selection, and training (Bailey, Hughes, & Barr 2000). The importance of internships in recruiting and retention suggests that employers should not consider interns as temporary labor, but they should take seriously attempts to promote interns’ effective work behaviors and intention to remain.

An internship can feel like a test period. It’s a great opportunity for you to test out this new working relationship and vice versa. Many Fortune-500 companies retain over 80% of their interns as entry-level hires. An intern provides an extra set of hands that can often help accomplish goals or finish projects. As long as the project will indeed help a young person learn a new skill, learn more about the industry, and give them a great learning experience—interns can work with other employees in the office on specific projects. Just make sure they are supervised and always given feedback on their work. Interns challenge “the way we’ve always done it” mentality and bring fresh, new ideas to the company.

Interns are good at questioning processes and can often see a better way of doing things that a manager might not. An internship is a great way to see how much potential a student or recent graduate has in the field. You’ll get to see their skills and work ethic as an intern—and might choose to bring them on as a paid employee down the line.When it comes to hiring new employees, hiring managers are always taking on a certain element of risk in determining whether a candidate will be the best fit. ‘Most job applicants put their best foot forward on paper. An internship helps an employer evaluate how an individual would fare in the actual workplace.

By identifying young talent and offering internship opportunities, organizations have an opportunity akin to an extended interview that goes far beyond traditional interviewing processes. Internships allow employers time to assess a student for competency, drive and cultural fit. Most often, younger interns will have a unique perspective and insight to the current and best social media trends. Because of this insight, they’re better equipped to handle your social media channels, if social media is a key part of your company.

Plus, young interns already know social media, having grown up with it and use it in their daily lives. Just as students reap the benefits of an organization mentoring, teaching and guiding them in their learning processes, employers can learn just as much from their interns. Employers report discovering new perspectives, energy and specialized skill sets through their interns. Converting good interns into full-time employees upon completion of the internship is becoming the preferred path to permanent employment for many interns and employers (NACE, 2009; Stevens-Huffman, 2006; Gardner, 2004).

Increasing internship conversion rates is beneficial to the employer for a number of reasons, such as a significant amount of money saved in both hiring and training costs (Nielsen and Porter, 1983; Pianko, 1996).Interns are a partially trained workforce that can contribute to the organization immediately (Dixon, Cunningham, Sagas, Turner & Kent, 2005).Interns typically experience higher levels of job satisfaction than non-interns (Gault et al., 2000).Given that interns represent a viable pool of potential new hires (Sessions, 2006)The most successful source of new hires for many companies is their intern pool (Sessions, 2006).

Aside from having extra people to help with projects, interns often come with tons of energy. They’re eager to learn, ready to work, and most want the chance to prove their value with the hopes of being hired by their potentially new employer. interns often contemplate seeking a permanent job in the organization (Zhao & Liden, 2011)This type of energy often adds to the company culture and improving the overall work environment. Try to encourage any new ideas and positive behavior from your interns to your current employees.


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Internships as Organizational Strategy. (2021, Jun 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/internships-as-organizational-strategy/

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