A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
You’ve probably heard this adage more times than you can count. But in terms of your startup or small business, it likely hits home. At larger companies, there’s room for mediocre employees, but not at your startup. This is why recruiting is crucial to the success of your company — yes, even intern recruiting.
When used correctly, your company’s intern program should act as a talent pipeline. Bringing in a strong crop of intern talent will not only set you ahead of your competition, it will also impact you for years to come in terms of hiring decisions.
Better intern recruitment often means nabbing students in the throes of their education. But campus recruiting isn’t the best measure for every intern program. If you’re considering ramping up your startup’s intern recruitment with campus recruiting, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you have the money?
If you’re currently juggling a tight budget and minimal resources for your intern program, traditional campus recruiting efforts might be a stretch. Hitting up the career fairs of colleges and universities turning out some of the best talent in your industry can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you should forgo reaching these students altogether.
Winning the attention of talented students at these institutions may mean infiltrating from a different, more discrete angle. Get in touch with career centers and specific departments to build connections that will help you gain access to talented students at these universities. Send out intern openings on their email listserv, give classroom presentations, or ask to meet with campus groups targeting your industry. This low-cost form of campus recruiting won’t break your intern program budget.
Do you have the manpower?
Leaving an impression on campuses across the nation can seem like it takes an army, and who has the manpower for that? With a startup staff of only a handful of employees, it’s tough to send off your intern program manager to a variety of campus recruiting engagements.
Fortunately, you only need one person to leave your mark on a class of students — the key is video chat. Reach out to professors and offer to give an industry-related presentation to their students using Skype or Google Hangout. Take questions and give students exclusive access to your internships by promising to view their submitted resumes first. Offering valuable facetime with talented potential intern candidates will help boost your intern program and company culture overall.
Are you reaching students socially?
If you’re struggling with the idea of making it to a variety of college campuses, then it may be time to consider what you can do via your online employer brand. Building up your company’s intern program using social media can work to win the attention of a slew of talented potential intern candidates.
Aim for quality over quantity in terms of the social media platform you choose to spread your employer brand message. Hone in on a few outlets like LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or even create your own virtual campus hub to showcase your company culture and promote internship opportunities. Reach out directly to a variety of colleges and applicable departments to gain valuable online partnerships, answer questions, and promote your internship opportunities and company culture.
Have you tapped your alumni connections?
Getting the word out about your intern program on college campuses doesn’t always require traditional campus recruiting tactics — it really comes down to how you utilize your alumni connections at specific universities.
Do you have any employees who are recent graduates? They may be able to connect you with current students, organizations or campus leaders who know the best and brightest students looking for internships like yours. Use them as a connecting point to engage and recruit talented students at their alma mater.
Spreading your employer brand message and recruiting students for your intern program often requires thinking outside of the box. Traditional campus recruiting might not match your intern program at this time, but there are a number of ways you can still gain the attention of talented students across many college campuses.
Does your company using campus recruiting to hire interns?
Guest author Ashley Mosley is Community Engagement Manager of InternMatch, an online platform connecting the best intern candidates and employers. Connect with Ashley and InternMatch on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.