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5 Reasons to Build Your Company’s Internship Program

Posted on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 @ 14:06 PM

internship programInternship programs have long been viewed as contingencies: a way for students to build their resumes and for companies to “pay it forward,” while reaping the benefits of low-cost labor.

More recently, though, companies are starting to reevaluate the importance of internship programs—and for good reason. Here are a few reasons to get serious about your company’s internship programs:

Internships are a way to build a “farm team”: According to a recent article in from the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Magazine, “70% of companies say that high school students who complete their programs are either ‘very likely’ or ‘completely likely’ to eventually land a college internship with their company. And 45 percent said that high school internships will ‘very likely’ or ‘completely likely’ turn into a full-time job at their company.”  

By employing student-interns, companies are able to scout young talent early on. Sure, these students may not be ready for the “big leagues” yet, but investing in interns may pay off in the long run. 

Interns often bring a fresh perspective on organizational issues: If you encourage an open and creative work culture, you may be surprised by what student-interns can bring to the table. Because they have a fresh perspective, interns are often good at questioning processes. They can breathe new life into a company by challenging business as usual, or “the way we’ve always done it.”

Internships often lead to something more: Think about it this way: Interns already know your organization and what’s expected of them. You, in turn, are familiar with their style of work, strengths and areas requiring improvement, work ethics, and interpersonal skills. One could say that you’ve had a chance to try one another out before making a commitment—and if it’s a good fit, it’s a win-win for both you and the intern.

Interns are excellent brand advocates: Hiring an intern helps spread the word about your company. If you’re an impressive internship supervisor and mentor, your interns will probably talk about their experience with peers, friends and family members, essentially advertising for your organization.

Interns can help with projects or tasks that you’re struggling to complete: Most companies have a laundry list of projects that live off in the periphery somewhere. They’re not entirely forgotten about, but they never get finished because they aren’t an immediate priority. Use your interns wisely. Instead of having them stuff envelopes, run errands, and make photocopies, dust off some of these forgotten projects. Give your interns the opportunity to do real, meaningful work.

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Topics: Certificate in HR Management, Graduate Programs for Human Resources, HR professional, employee recruitment, internship program

The ABCs of Successful Employee Recruitment: Part II

Posted on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 @ 10:06 AM

employee recruitmentLast week, we shared the first half of what human resource expert Diane Arthur calls “The ABCs of Successful Employee Recruitment.” As promised, here is the second half of her list.

The ABCs of Successful Employee Recruitment: Part II

Notorious: Make it your goal to become the organization everyone has good things to say about. Remember that your employees are your best ambassadors. If they’re proud of where they work, you better believe that they’re going to talk about it to their friends and family.

Online presence: Five years ago, Technorati, a blog trafficking firm, estimated that every day, 175,000 new blogs and more than 1.6 million blog updates make their online appearance. That doesn’t even include the 63.2 million blogs already out there. Blogging is a relatively new phenomenon, but it is certainly a popular one. Here’s why:

  • It’s an easy way for your company to directly engage with clients, prospective clients and employees.  Use your blog to talk about your company, your products, and build relationships with your customers and prospective employees

  • Blogs make your company feel much more human because you will be having ongoing conversations with readers

  • Blogs are a cheap way to extend the reach of your company far beyond tangible borders

Persistent: Resist pressure to settle or compromise your standards if you’re unable to fill an opening right away. Instead, re-examine the sources you’ve chosen and adjust as needed.

Quick: The moment you discover you’re going to have an opening, act on it immediately. Just as important, though, plan for sudden openings by identifying and training future leaders to transition into those roles so they’re ready when the shoe suddenly drops.

Realistic: Indeed, you have a right to be picky and owe it to yourself and your organization to hold out for the best possible employee. Just keep your expectations in check and remain realistic. Does the “perfect candidate” only exist on paper or in your dreams?

Sensitive: Take a step back and evaluate the attitudes and behaviors of your organization towards those with cultural and religious differences, and those who have special needs.

When it comes to awareness about people with disabilities, for example, many folks with a rudimentary understanding of ADA mandates are, unfortunately, under the false impression that people with disabilities are coddled and receive special treatment. Teaching employees the legalities—and making them aware of what most people with disabilities want in terms of treatment—will help diffuse these myths.  

Tireless: If you relax your recruitment efforts, chances are another organization will grab the applicant you failed to pursue.

Unified: It's crucial for interviewers and hiring managers to partner with others who share the same objective, but approach things differently. Let's say that one interviewer is more susceptible to making hiring decisions based on personality alone; he or she should be teamed up with a more systematic associate: someone who can target facts instead of personality types.

Vocal: Openly and clearly express the qualities and skills you need in an applicant to agencies or others assisting your company with a job search.

Watchful: Look for signs that confirm the recruitment sources you’re using are producing the kinds of results you want and that the applicants they’re producing possess both the tangible and intangible qualities you need.

Xentigious: This is a word Diane Arthur made up herself. The last two syllables rhyme with “litigious,” which means “to keep legal.” Regardless of how desperate you are to fill an opening, never step outside legal boundaries.

Youthful: Be youthful both in thinking and spirit in order to compete for top performers, especially the scarce but vitally important group of younger workers. Specifically, think in terms of what’s important to younger workers in relation to working conditions, hours, perks, and balance between work and personal time.

Zealous: Applicants are more likely to be interested in becoming a part of a company if the recruiters are enthusiastic and appear to genuinely enjoy working there. Accordingly, consider briefly sharing some of your experiences with the company, offering vivid images of how great it is to work there.

 

 

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Topics: Certificate in HR Management, Graduate Programs for Human Resources, HR professional, employee recruitment

The ABCs of Successful Employee Recruitment

Posted on Fri, Jun 06, 2014 @ 16:06 PM

employee recruitmentEventually, most of us will have to go through the process of hiring a new employee. To help you attract the right kind of talent, we’d like to share what Diane Arthur calls “The ABCs of Successful Employee Recruitment.” This week, we’ll be sharing the first half of her list, but stay tuned, we’ll be sharing the rest next week. 

Attractive: Fine your most appealing attributes about your company and talk about them. Have you surpassed last year’s profits? Has your organization donated to charity? What do your employee retention statistics look like? Do you have a work culture you can be proud of? Boast about these things.

Believable: You want to make your company as attractive as possible, but don’t stretch the truth. Don’t, for example, rave about how open and collaborative the work environment is if openness and collaboration are not actively encouraged or practiced.

Centered: Know exactly what you want in an employee, what the job entails, and base your search on this criterion. Start by reviewing your job descriptions. Keeping these up-to-date not only lays the groundwork for a successful interview, it sets the agenda for future performance reviews, and saves the company time and money.

Detailed: Being detail-oriented is important for a variety of reasons, but it is especially important when it comes to branding and presenting your company. The company website is a good place to start your self-evaluation. While you review your site, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does our website capture the culture and values of the company?
  • Is it easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing to the eye?
  • Does it contain outdated material or is it missing information all together?
  • Does it give employees an overview of open positions and how to apply?

Empathetic: Attempt to understand an applicant’s needs and interests in relation to organizational goals in order to strike a balance and find common denominators between the two.

Flexible: Try a variety of recruitment strategies—and whatever you do, don’t simply post your job on Monster or Careerbuilder; these sites are often oversaturated with postings and you may get lost in the shuffle.

Greedy: When it comes to recruitment, it’s OK to be greedy. Your company deserves the best, so hire the best.  

Hip: Recruitment trends are changing. Social media websites like Facebook and LinkedIn are hotbeds for marketing your product and company, and finding prospective employees.

Informative
: We mentioned the importance of keeping an updated company website above, but it’s just as important to review your company’s social media page.  Most candidates worth their salt will peruse your website and your Facebook page before they come to the interview.

Judicious: Exercise sound judgment when matching candidates with jobs. Avoid decisions ruled by emotion.

Knowledgeable: Be thoroughly familiar with the parameters of the job, how it interfaces with other positions, the department, and the company. Also, be aware of how other organizations view this job in terms of responsibility, status, and compensation.

Linear: Think in terms of a series of straight lines connecting the applicant, the job, and the company. This will help keep you on track and accomplish your goal of filling an opening as quickly as possible with the most suitable employee.

More: Review your current recruitment efforts and think of whether you could be doing more. In fact, take each of the key words in these guidelines and ask yourself if you can be more attractive, more believable, more centered, more diligent, and so on.

Download our Human Resource  Management Factsheet

Topics: Certificate in HR Management, Graduate Programs for Human Resources, HR professional, employee recruitment, interview questions, interview strategies

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