At colleges and universities across the nation, spring semester has been underway for a few weeks. With the arrival of spring semester comes the onset of employers looking to fill positions for their summer internship programs. As the job market and college student demographics are changing, so should your internship programs. Let’s face it, there is a 60 percent chance that the intern you hire today will be your entry-level employee tomorrow.
We have set aside some tips and strategies for your internship program to mirror the diverse marketplace, which in turn may increase your chance of creating a more diverse work environment.
Under the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) act, there are certain requirements companies and employers are suppose to fulfill based on diversity initiatives. However, with those requirements come the task of hiring prospective interns just to check certain boxes and to satisfy their audits. Appropriate research should be done to track where diverse intern applicants are coming form. For example, based on thorough research, a company may find they receive more diverse applicants at a particular conference oppose to the average career fair.
Go Beyond Traditional Recruiting Methods
While tradition is always great, sometimes it is necessary to break out of the box and develop new ways of recruiting. Partner with different career development companies, like us, that may have greater access to diverse talent. Break away from the old sit behind the table, college fair way of recruiting and embrace contests and social media. If you’re looking for a social media intern, maybe create a contest about creating a social media plan for one of the company’s clients and/or products. You can reach a large pool of diverse students that way and see their relevant skills all at once.
Establish a Mentorship Program
Partner with local high schools to establish a mentorship program. (Yes, I said high school). Starting early is an excellent way to increase and foster greater diversity. At the high school level, your company can allow juniors and seniors to shadow employers for a three-week time frame in the summer and throughout the school year build rapport with the particular employer. This way, by the time the student enters college there is a greater possibility that they are interested in your company and may even tell their college roommate or friend.
Along with these tips, check out our customized internship program service where Marc Scoleri provides employers with an assessment and evaluation of the business to supply your internship program needs.
Do you have a diverse internship program? Feel free to comment and chime in our tips and strategies.