Recent polls conducted by The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) have uncovered that a growing number of employers (42 percent) are planning to move their internship programs online. Respondents also indicated they’re increasing plans to recruit through virtual solutions during the second half of the year (44.5 percent).
Jane Clark, Global Head of Emerging Talent Consulting, at Alexander Mann Solutions, said, “Internship programs have long provided practical work experience for college students and recent graduates. These programs are also strategic to growing entry-level talent pipelines. Traditional campus recruiting solutions that feed internship programs cannot possibly ‘lift and shift’ virtually, lacking the integration capabilities and nimbleness required. Our Platform has been expressly designed to enable employers to recruit and onboard interns virtually.”
The new Virtual Internships Platform integrates with existing technology investments such as applicant tracking, online learning, and core HR systems. Tailored to an employer’s brand and personalized for each intern, the platform includes onboarding functionality that automates key initial and weekly steps. Live chat options and integrated chatbots offer further support as well as candidate experience metrics. Built-in alerts let recruiters and hiring managers know if an intern is not interacting with relevant content and workflow adjustments can be made in real-time. Ongoing communications during the internship and afterwards, engage the talent pool so these qualified candidates can be considered for hire after graduation.
Additionally, to ensure that interns who are most aligned with an organization’s culture are advanced in the hiring process, psychometric testing is included to assess skills and personality factors. And, since general workplace learning is so important to the intern experience, Alexander Mann Solutions has included “soft skills” e-learning content such as time management, communication, finance and relationship building.
Clark concluded, “The most common mistake made going virtual is the assumption that you can simply move existing ‘early careers’ programs into a virtual environment. How you design and facilitate your company’s internship program is as individualized as the interns you’ll be onboarding. That’s why carefully defining your objectives and working with a technology partner that possesses the required expertise is essential to your program’s success.”