Posts tagged ‘employer’

Mario: sixteen years after graduation

by Miguel Corona

One of the most gratifying jobs I’ve had over the course of my career was my time working at the career center at the University of Texas at El Paso. Being responsible for the University’s cooperative education and internship programs and helping college students gain their first professional experiences provided me with a lot of personal satisfaction. During the almost five years of working in that setting, I had the pleasure of seeing many of these same students return to campus as company representatives to recruit the next generation of UTEP graduates. Along the way, I was able to make lifelong friendships with many of these students, first as interns and later as professionals. One friend in particular is Mario, who is now a successful leader at an aviation company.

Sixteen years ago, Mario’s first major in college was marketing. In fact, his first internship experience as a sophomore was working in the marketing department for a large insurance company. When Mario returned, I realized his internship experience had not met his expectations. The root of Mario’s unhappiness wasn’t due to the work he did, but more so due to the work he didn’t do. Mario realized his passion wasn’t in marketing but in information systems. Luckily for Mario, his supervisor during the internship was also technically inclined so he introduced Mario to areas in the organization where he could begin to learn about his newly discovered passion. Needless to say, Mario switched his major to information systems, went on to complete another two internships in his new major, and today is still very passionate about his work.  

One appealing aspect of an internship program is its ability to serve as a bridge between the world of theory and practicality. However, the bridge that connects both worlds also needs to have a support structure. Within an internship program, “the glue” that holds together this support is an intern’s supervisor. And while a supervisor’s role is to offer an intern guidance and direction in a work environment, another role should be one of an advisor. Mario often points to that one supervisor, from 16 years ago, as having made a significant impact on his career. From a Hispanic perspective, being an advisor or consejero is an important element of the supervisor/intern relationship. Hispanics are a determined people and are culturally wired to complete one task before starting another. Hence, changing his major after two years of college was not something that came naturally to Mario. Whether Mario’s supervisor at the time knew it or not, his timely advice made the difference between a successful professional and someone that might still be searching for his passion.

April 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

Converting an intern to a new hire: worth it!

by writer

Do you have a vacancy at your company that needs to be filled by a competent, valuable employee? Great! Are you worried about the cost incurred during the recruitment/hiring period? Not great. It’s time to think about another option for finding and hiring the perfect person to fill the empty office—hire an intern.

I don’t mean hire an intern as a permanent solution, rather create an internship that will allow you to vet various candidates, give young people good experience in your industry, get extra (probably much needed) assistance in the office, and choose the perfect employee from a pool of possibilities that you already know. It’s a win-win situation.

A recent survey, conducted jointly by the Employment Management Association and the Society for Human Resources of 636 professionals, produced the following statistics regarding the most common costs included in a Cost Per Hire:

  • Advertising and event costs (76%) – Converting an intern to a full-time hire means no expensive job listings in newspapers or journals
  • Internet services (63%) – Reduce fees needed for individual job postings
  • Third-party agency contract and fees (52%) – Unnecessary cost if hiring from within
  • Referral bonus costs (49%) — Reduce staff time spent at job fairs, preparing job ads, resume review, interview time, phone pre-screens. These are just a few of the places your staff will save time and effort by hiring from a current intern pool.
  • Signing bonus (37%) — No need to pay a signing bonus if you are converting an intern to a full-time employee. Also, employers report that salaries tend to be lower when hiring a current intern.
  • Technology-based hiring management (19%) – The Internet has increased the number of resumes submitted for positions. Reduce the time spent sorting, reviewing and organizing the paperwork by converting an intern to a new hire.

SHRM surveys report that exempt positions are at $6,943 CpH (Cost Per Hire). Non-exempt positions are reported at $2,546 per hire. And CpH for high skills range from $9,777 to $19,219. Overall, it is reported that companies typically spend $10,000 – $50,000 in tangible costs alone to replace and retrain when a single employee leaves the company.

Basically, it’s a large expense for a company of any size—astronomical for a small company, but nothing to ignore even for a larger company. Converting an intern to a new hire is worth it if you are just looking at the numbers, but when reviewing all of the mutually beneficial aspects of the conversion it’s clearly an excellent solution for all involved.

April 6, 2010 at 1:56 pm Leave a comment

College summer internships: planning ahead

By Miguel Corona

Although we’re deep in the middle of winter, many college students around the country have their sights set on warmer weather and the possibility of securing a summer internship. University career centers are already busy posting internship opportunities and scheduling employer campus interviews. Whether you’re an employer considering starting an internship program or have an established program in place, now is the time to be planning how summer interns will be best utilized by your organization. Do you know how your organization expects to leverage the energy, creativity, knowledge, and skills interns commonly bring to the workplace? And above all, and a factor often neglected by employers, is your internship program designed to produce genuine value and results to the student as well as the organization? Having managed internship programs for a university and a few organizations, the best and worst internship experiences often hinge on this last question.  

For the student, the goal of an internship is to gain practical and relevant experience through the application of knowledge so far attained only in an academic setting. Whether interns are joining your organization to support an established team or tasked with a short-term project, assure that their theoretical learning is being supplemented in the role. Beyond practical experience in their core area of study, interns are also expecting to develop and apply other skills that are essential to their long-term professional success. Provide interns the opportunity to develop interpersonal, critical thinking, presentation, networking, and political acumen skills. Developing these essential career skills is just as important to their overall internship experience.  

For the employer, it’s imperative to identify one or more projects where the intern can provide legitimate support or make a considerable impact. Employers might at times be reluctant to trust an intern with too much responsibility fearing that he or she will fail. On the contrary, from my experience, interns rise to the level of expectation and use their willingness to learn as an opportunity to contribute wherever they’re needed. Of course, this approach should be balanced with what an intern needs to learn in order to complete the assignment. Pinpointing the right opportunity, along with determining the appropriate amount of supervisory support, will go a long way in assuring an intern’s skills are used most effectively. Combining an intern’s specialized area of study, willingness to learn, and the right project will yield the best results where the organization most needs it.

February 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm Leave a comment

About this blog

This blog is dedicated to employers with a focus on how to hire and manage interns effectively. We will have a variety of experts who will share helpful ideas, tips and more. We invite you to comment, ask questions and share your experiences. You are also welcome to submit written contributions to this blog.

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