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Jun 2, 2015

With summer right around the corner, attracting the best interns is an important part of an overall recruiting strategy for companies to win the war for talent.

Many companies look for interns who show potential of becoming full-time employees, and therefore keep their future hiring needs in mind when recruiting their student interns.

Take my company as an example, where employee count grew by 35 percent in 2014 alone. Many of our most long-term and high-performing employees started their careers with us following their internship experience. As such, we’ll surely be looking to this group of young people as a pipeline of “warm” candidates to help fill a portion of more than 100 planned open positions this year.

With that in mind, here are five (5) ways your company can get the most from your intern recruiting program.

1. Video screening

Consider leveraging video screening as part of the internship recruitment process. Video technology can save a company time, money, and unnecessary travel expenses while making it faster and easier to identify best-fit talent.

Typically, it is understood that intern candidates have limited work experience. But by adding a video screening component to the interview and recruitment process, hiring managers can identify candidates’ soft skills and level of engagement more easily before investing time in coordinating calls and in-person interviews.

Many candidates themselves are in favor of video screening as well. In fact, 62 percent of candidates believe video technology would actually give them a competitive edge in the process, according to iCIMS Hire Expectations Institute research. Video gives job seekers the unique opportunity to display creativity, professional presentation, communication skills, and passion all in just a few minutes or less.

2. Give your career site a face lift

Today, candidates tend to use split-second judgment when it comes to looking for jobs and internships. Our research shows that 78 percent of candidates agree that the appearance and content of a company’s career site plays a substantial role in deciding whether they’ll apply for a position with the organization.

In addition to ensuring the career site is well-designed, fully mobile-accessible, and branded, another vital component that often gets overlooked is to dedicate prominent space on your career site to your internship and/or entry-level positions.

The information provided should answer common questions, such as what an intern would be doing, if it’s a paid position, and how they’ll benefit. Plus, offering helpful tips for job seekers lets candidates at any stage know you’re invested in their success.

3. Market to a college-specific talent pool

As today’s companies struggle to hire the best candidates and quickly fill open positions, recruiters are turning into marketing professionals as they “sell” their company’s employment brand to attract the best talent.

Smart companies will start building a talent pool of college students and market to them throughout their college careers. By doing so, when these students are ready to consider internships, their company is top of mind and often they get the cream of the crop.

The best way for recruitment professionals to build and nurture candidate relationships is to capture candidate data and further fuel their interest through dedicated talent acquisition technology. This is where talent CRM (Candidate Relationship Management) becomes valuable. By leveraging the right tool for recruitment marketing automation, you can build a talent pool specific to an area of interest and communicate directly to that pool of candidates using email campaigns and social media.

4. Go beyond the career fair

If you’re looking to recruit current college students or soon-to-be grads, look beyond the semi-annual career fair by making the most of specialized job boards like and career services centers at targeted universities.

The students who are taking the time and effort to make use of these tools have taken the first step toward showing their ability to be both proactive and resourceful, making them attractive candidates for any organization.

Perhaps your current employees are alumni of a particular school, or there are schools in the area with strong programs that teach the concepts and skills you’re looking for. Reach out to those schools’ career services centers and begin building relationships.

In addition to career fairs, colleges typically offer job-posting services, on-campus recruiting, and other options for connecting with students even during summer months. This will help students become more familiar and comfortable with your employment brand so you can begin partnering with relevant groups, clubs, and societies to get to know professors, coordinate on-campus interviewing, and plan valuable information sessions to invite students to attend.

5. Be mobile

Your intern candidate pool will be brimming with Millennials, and according to a Neilson report, this is the largest group of smartphone owners, and they each spend an average of 14.5 hours per week on their mobile device.

Data we have collected over the past year implicates that mobile and tablet usage among job seekers has shown a staggering 60 percent increase. To capitalize on this and attract the right intern candidates, you need to ensure your career portal is mobile-optimized so that candidates apply on their mobile devices.

Technology continues to play a crucial role in talent acquisition, especially when recruiting interns representing Generations Y and Z. These candidates grew up in the Digital Age at a time when almost every home had an Internet connection and a computer, and companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram exploded with popularity to become a seamless part of our culture.

Investing in your long-term success

Research suggests that HR has an incredibly high impact on a company’s bottom line, so the pressure to have the right people in place has created an intensely competitive hiring environment.

By establishing an intern recruiting and marketing program that leverages Millennial-friendly tools such as video, mobile-responsive career sites, and recruitment marketing automation, companies will be investing in their long-term success.

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