From the Founders

The case for internships: 3 reasons why your organization should invest in an internship program

As summer approaches, many companies are preparing to onboard their new interns. Internships are in many ways an extended interview, and a great way to assess whether there’s a good fit for a future full-time position. However, many organizations do not provide internship opportunities. Whether that is due to funding challenges or lack of long term planning- the end result is the same, a competitive disadvantage and a missed opportunity. Here are three reasons why not having an internship program could be setting your organization back: 

1. Missing out on top talent.

Prioritizing top talent acquisition is critical, as talent is what ultimately drives an organization ahead. Forward thinking organizations know this and start competing for top talent early, and begin making job offers months in advance of summer. For many new grads and young talent, their university career centre is their primary destination for job information- so having a presence early is especially helpful. This is particularly important as this generation is the most socially conscious and looking for careers with impact.

2. Increased recruitment costs.

We all know a bad hire can be a costly mistake and negatively affect the entire team. Having an internship program will cut down on future recruitment costs by building a pipeline of pre-qualified candidates. Internships are a low cost way to build for the future as today’s interns are tomorrow’s leaders. And even if the intern doesn’t turn into a full-time employee, you’ll have created a brand evangelist helping spread the good work you do.  

3. Missing out on new ideas.

A lack of new ideas or a desire for the status quo creates a ‘same old’ pattern of behaviour, which can be especially detrimental to organizations looking to appeal to a new generation of customers and donors. Summer interns, on the other hand, infuse a healthy dose of fresh thinking and new perspectives into organizations. These future leaders are often on the cutting edge of the latest technologies and trends and are eager to make a difference.

If those three reasons are not enough, consider the following statistic: 58% of Millennials cite career growth and professional development as their primary career goal they want to accomplish by the time they’re in their 30s or 40s. An organization that invests in internships signals their commitment to the development of employees and will be in a better position to attract top talent.

As Millennials begin outnumbering boomers in the workforce, we expect that meaningful work will take on greater importance in recruitment. We recently announced Toronto’s Most Meaningful Summer Internships- an initiative that highlights the broad range of meaningful work. In its first year, we showcase six internships at organizations making important contributions to the impact sector. Interested in who made the list? You can learn more about our initiative and who’s involved here.

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Anil Patel. Managing Director, Digital Strategy. GrantBook

Amanda Minuk

Amanda Minuk

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