10 ideas to make your internship program stand out

October, 2019

You have spent days and, maybe sometimes weeks researching, analyzing, planning, finding the resources and gaining support from your organisation. Finally you get to create a compelling internship program to attract the best students for your company. Similar to the process of writing a book, you will need to spend just as much time promoting your content than actually writing it.

But what are the best ways to promote your internship program, in order to make sure that you will find the best interns? We have prepared a list with 10 things to keep in mind when promoting your internship program.

1. Market Research

It’s important to have a good understanding of the market. This will not only help you attract and nurture the right talent, but it will ensure that the program proves to be a success in a landscape with hundreds of programs. Surveys are one of the absolute best ways to get input before you’ve planned your next internship & trainee programs.

This year www.hipo.ro has launched  Internship & Trainee Marathon – the largest national project designed to promote internship & trainee programs to students and fresh graduates from major Romanian universities. As part of this project we have launched a survey in order to better understand the market situation and to capture key benchmarks related to recruiting and hiring, conversion and retention rates, communication channels, compensation and benefits, etc.

Here you can access the free report Internship & Trainee Survey 2019.

2. Career Portals

Career portals are a good way to promote your internship programs, as many students, master students and graduates use these websites to find an internship. We are happy to share with you that Hipo was mentioned by most of the employers we have questioned as the most efficient career portal in their promotional mix.

Here are some tips to improve the results you get from job posts:
– Include branding elements to make your ad stand out;
– If your program is for multiple departments you will gain a better exposure with different jobs for each of them. Some of the students will be very specific in their searches looking for internship programs in their area. Students determined to work in HR will search for HR Internships.
– Make sure the job ads contain specific information about the duration of the contract, clear mention if the program is paid or not, city, office and departments in which the interns will work.
– Simplify the application process. The generation NOW will not have the patience to fill in long application forms. Even less the candidates finding your job ad on their mobile phone. You might be competing with similar programs which use One Click Apply.
– Watch out how you mix gamification and recruitment. If all applicant “have to” go trough a lengthy game in order to be able to apply, do not be surprised if you will notice a major drop in No. of applicants. Some candidates will prefer the simple way to apply so you should offer them both options. Gamification is great for bringing colour in your campaign but it can also become a bottleneck.

3. Use Social Media

One way to reach more students is to use social media channels. We all know that on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or even Twitter, we can find our target group. All you have to do is prepare an appealing content that will convince the students you want to apply for your program and target this content to the right audience. This is a great channel to create awareness but it will not translate into conversions as you would probably like. Use remarketing to ensure your audience is reminded about the application deadline.

For example, @Coca-Cola HBC Romania is one of the companies that promotes very well their job openings on social media channels. The copywriting and choice of image are aligned with their employer brand, suggesting their fun environment and open culture.



4. Publications Dedicated to Students

Such a publication is the Employers’ Guide, through which you can promote your internship program. The Employers’ Guide is a nationally distributed career publication, containing both career articles and opportunities dedicated to graduates and students alike. This type of publication is distributed nationwide, so that you can reach a larger audience, especially if your company offers career opportunities in several cities of the country.

5. Organize an Open-Day at Your Company

To attract top candidates, another option would be to organize an Open Day. This event format will offer them the space to picture your company, meet the team and will be the best way to prove that your internship program is worth it.  You can start the Open Day with a tour of your company and some get to know each other exercises to put everybody at ease. Or, you can ask interns to share their experience, info about activities and the structure of the learning program, networking with the mentors etc. The chance to know the people behind the brand mixed with a better understanding of the company would surely awaken their interest. A small incentive as a reminder of their participation is always welcome as the event is closing its Agenda! :)

6. Career Events

At this kind of events, a big part of the target audience is build by students, so it is a good opportunity for your company to promote internship programs. For example, Finance BootCamp, is a project dedicated to young enthusiasts in Audit & Tax or Legal Consultancy. All participants are students or fresh graduates, all of them have had outstanding results, and all have been involved in extracurricular activities. Hence, such an event represents a good opportunity to attract new knowledge into your company. Here is a list of career events from which you can choose.

Results from recruitment events and career fairs will increase if you collect leads during the event and immediately follow up with an e-mail invitation just after the event ends. In fact for our campaigns this proved to be the highest channel in terms of conversion, followed by e-mail marketing.

7. Company’s Website & Social Pages

A good idea is to use your company’s website and social channels to convert clients into applicants. If you are an organization with B2C products or services, chances are that among the students following your brands there are also students fit for your program. As a bonus – you already know they love your brand.

8. Meet Students in the Campus

Give students a chance to learn more about you. These types of meetings may be attended by 2 or 3 representatives from your company that will be open to talk with students. Choose your ambassadors wisely as they will leave a lasting impression. Make these meetings worth attending by sharing also knowledge beside information about your company and the internship program. If you want to stand out from the crowd you can choose a nice Coffee Shop near the campus. The relaxed atmosphere can say more about your culture than a standard classroom and the setting will help you gain a more open audience.

9. Promote Your Internship with Video Posts

Post videos with the activities your interns do in the company. In this way, you can show candidates a small part of your world. You can also present a short film interviews with former interns who are currently part of the team. And you can have a positive impact if you can introduce few words from your employees about the atmosphere in your company, what is their experience and their growth process in order to have a higher credibility score.

Video posts_Ubisoft

10. Touring Events Organized by your Company

One great example of this format is Caravana Drive Your Career @ Renault! Through this event, Grup Renault Romania wanted to meet and discover the potential while students were exploring the career opportunities they offered. The event took place in several cities across the country, including: Bucharest, Ploiesti, Iasi, Bacau, Galati, Constanta, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Craiova, Targoviste, Brasov and Pitesti.

Grup Renault specialists have shared their experience as well as tips & tricks for the student’s professional evolution. They have launched technical challenges engaging a wide audience. Last but not least, the company also presented the cars they design and produce.

If you’re serious about hiring interns, then it’s time to implement a good strategy to promote your best internship program – one that ensures you attract the right talent.

Drop us an e-mail at angajatori@catalyst.ro and we will be happy to assist you in building a strong campaign.

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