Before opening Tilley Workforce Solutions, I worked inside organizations leading recruitment and HR initiatives for organizations spanning from healthcare, startups, education to global semi-conductor manufacturing.

One of my favorite things to do was lead an intern program.

I believe this rising generation is unique to those before them and have a lot to offer.

They’ve endured and survived many things as teens and young adults, adapted to changing technology and are creative, problem solving, forward thinking young professionals. Beyond placing a college student in a role, I wanted to ensure that the program benefited both the intern and the organization, so I created some fundamental elements.

Recruiting for summer interns typically begins at the end of the year and selections are made by the end of the 1st quarter.

Benefits of hiring an intern include building a relationship with the college and strengthening future pipelines, fresh perspectives, increased brand visibility and reducing recruitment costs, retain talent in your own city and supporting your region.

However, an intern program without a plan can have a negative effect.

That’s why it’s important to lay some fundamental pieces to maximize the program for your company and the interns.

1. Ask your Hiring Leaders for a Plan through an Intern Request Form

Make sure the department requesting an intern has a Plan on how they will use the intern. Ensure the department has a plan how they will use the intern and what the intern will gain from the experience

Long gone are the days of an intern making copies and re-filling coffee.

Interns seek real work experience.

Before you begin recruiting and hiring interns, request an +Intern Request Form from the requesting manager.

The form will include

  • Request Date, Name and Title of person requesting
  • Intern Job Title
  • The name of the department
  • Intern Manager / Who the intern will report to
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • Number of interns requested
  • Is it in their budget?
  • How much team participation they will have
  • Description of proposed internship project or responsibilities
  • Expected benefit to intern and organization
  • Required skills and requirements
  • Approved Yes/No

Use this Fillable Form for your organization:

Intern Request Form by Tilley Workforce Solutions.pdf

2. Design your Recruitment Strategy

  • Attend on-campus recruitment events
  • Contact the career center & department chairs directly to plan a time to meet with interested students and bring someone from the department to discuss what they do in that profession
  • Use the higher education hiring platforms
  • During the interview communicate what they could be working on and ask if they have anything they are specifically interested in learning

3. Communicate

Since you’ll have a gap of time between Selection to Start, it’s important to stay in touch with your interns. In that time, incorporate a few communications ideas

  • Send them a welcome message like an email or mail a note
  • Ask their future manager to reach out
  • Touch base several times before they begin
  • Be genuine and wish them luck on finals and tell them you are looking forward to them joining the group
  • Send a clear message regarding their first day and what they can expect through their intern program

4. Make the program stand out with these ideas

  • Plan a strong welcome
  • Post names on welcome board in office
  • Post on social media
  • Provide a company branded welcome basket
  • Welcome them when they enter the building or set a time to greet them if they are virtual
  • Provide a welcome sheet with important information
  • Create a welcome breakfast or lunch
  • Lead career development sessions
  • Establish in-house mentors
  • Have a completion ceremony
  • Ask for feedback and keep in touch with them after the program

First Day Employee Welcome Info Sheet

Most importantly, enjoy having interns and learn from them as much as they are learning from you.

As always, if you have questions or would like to partner on recruitment or workforce solutions, contact us at 314-623-1163