Learning & Development, Q&A, Recruiting

Celebrating National Intern Day 2023

It’s National Intern Day and here at HR Daily Advisor, we’re celebrating interns who are learning from and working with employers throughout the U.S. Since its inception in 2017, National Intern Day has been recognized on the last Thursday in July. Created by WayUp – a job site and mobile app for college students and recent graduates – the holiday creates awareness of how internships are essential for acquiring valuable experience and exposure. 

In celebration of National Intern Day, Natalie Dopp, Chief People Officer at Hirevue – a leader in transforming talent experience – shares why organizations should tap interns to fill seasonal positions, strategies for finding qualified candidates, keeping them engaged, and more.

Here’s what she had to say.

Should companies utilize interns to fill seasonal positions?

ND: Interns can be a great way to fill seasonal positions. In many cases, it pays to start working with college students long before they graduate. The 2022 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Internship Report found that over half of all eligible interns go on to become full-time employees with their internship provider. Furthermore, 85% of surveyed employers say that internships are their most effective way of recruiting students.

Offering internships is effective because it lets students get an idea of what it is like to work for your business. They make strong connections with coworkers and become invested in your company goals. This makes them more likely to accept a job offer from you after they graduate. Internships are also an easy way to make students aware of your company. Since so many students are competing for internships during college, any company that offers this valuable assistance is a company they’ll remember.

What’s the best way to find qualified talent fast for seasonal summer hiring?

ND: When you’re looking to hire for a season, you can’t waste time wondering if you made the right hire—and you can’t just hope for the best. Consider candidates who show potential. Look for transferable skills instead of relying on candidates with specific experience or skills.

There is potential in every candidate. Assessments are a great way to find potential in candidates and pinpoint the skills that better predict success—not factors like alma maters or experience. Our 2023 Global Trends Report found that in the past year 58% of companies have implemented standardized assessments, and 32% have implemented game-based assessments. And when time is of the essence, your hiring experience needs to be fast and engaging so you can start making offers before your shifts get busy.

How can you keep seasonal workers engaged between seasons?

ND: One of the advantages that seasonal hiring teams have is access to a qualified candidate base year-round. Who knows your business and the ins and outs of operations more than your previous employees?

Engaging with candidates via text is not only their preferred method, but it’s also a lot more effective. Keep previous employees in the loop on hiring needs and business updates throughout the year—helping you establish relationships with people beyond just last-minute hiring needs.

Hiring technologies allow you to send automated text reminders and create solid feedback loops with candidates. You can message them from the platform (not your personal phone), and they can engage as easily as sending a text.

Don’t start each hiring season with a blank slate. Engage your previous employees and start filling your shifts fast with qualified talent you trust.

How are employers using technology to hire faster?

ND: Many seasonal jobs aren’t “normal,” meaning they may not be simply labeled as “cashier” or “marketing manager.” Some roles may be titled “crew member” or “warehouse stocker,” so candidates may need help determining how to search for them.

Chatbots can help candidates based on skills, it can give them access to all the roles available. A smart chatbot can search based on the skills needed for a position, so the burden of responsibility is no longer on candidates to ensure they are searching for a specific title. 

Chatbots may not be people, but they should be able to have human-like conversations. Candidates shouldn’t have to input specific language to hopefully get a match or response.

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