When should employers post summer internships? Is it better to post early?
Traditionally, we have advised employers to post internship openings 7-10 weeks in advance of their desired start date.
But more and more, the trend is to post early. In fact, when it comes to summer internships—typically the most competitive time of year—larger companies, like Fortune 1000 corporations, are posting the previous fall. In other words… now.
Of course, you may be thinking, But we’re a small business. And it’s true; if you are not looking to fill 50-plus slots, it’s probably not as important that you post internships as far ahead of time.
That being said, why wouldn’t you want access to the same intern talent as industry leaders? Why would you want to settle for the students left after the larger players have made their selections?
To this end, consider the following perks of posting an internship early:
- Increased selection. It seems obvious, but bears mentioning: Posting internship openings in advance gives you a greater pool to pick from. Wait until the last minute, and you’ll have to choose from the smaller number of students still available.
- Superior selection. There are two reasons you snag superior talent by recruiting interns early. First, more motivated students look for internships in advance. Post now and you up your chances of hiring higher-achieving applicants.
Secondly, it’s not just the less-driven interns who are available last minute. Procrastinating means you’re more likely to meet candidates who did start looking early, but who were not selected. This is yet another reason large companies post early: to ensure they acquire the cream of the crop.
- Fall career fairs. Fall semester is when many schools host career fairs. Posting an internship and participating in career fairs simultaneously increases your chances of attracting the specific type of intern you’re seeking.
But what about rationalizing that you’re too busy/understaffed/overworked right now to plan next summer’s internship program? To this, I urge you to ask yourself the following: Will your schedule really be less packed next spring? Probably not.
Moreover, if you’re looking to infuse your company with the fresh ideas and creative perspectives that will propel you to the next category, hiring the smartest, most sought-after interns is an excellent first step. Integrate these students into your team as interns, and increase your odds of bringing them onboard as employees later.