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How to Meet the Competitive Demands of Talent Acquisition

Written by Ellen Zhang on May 2, 2018
3 min read

Talent acquisition is more competitive than ever and a top priority for business leaders across all industries around the world. Learn how internships can shape your talent acquisition strategy to meet competitive demands.

Our borderless global environment and the ease in exchange of human capital, such as skills and knowledge, have heavily contributed to the rapid and vast change in the recruitment landscape. It has never been more important for corporate leaders to be proactive in hiring the right candidate and ultimately, the best talent for their companies to grow and succeed.

The intense competition for talent is stronger now than ever before. According to more than 4,000 corporate leaders across 35 countries, acquiring talent is the main priority for 2018 (85% of recruiters agree) and 56% of them will increase their hiring volumes this year.

Internships are an important part of talent acquisition. According to NACE’s 2016 Internship & Co-op Survey, employers offer interns full-time positions about 73% of the time, the highest it has been in over a decade. The overall conversion rate (from intern to offer to acceptance) is about 62%.

Additionally, direct hires from the intern pool outpace their inexperienced counterparts, and there are countless other reasons why interns are a great investment for the future of your company.

Today’s intern applicants are highly competitive and overachieving. They often land multiple internship offers. Companies that understand how much interns matter and what they want are going to win.

So what demands do employers need to meet to compete in talent acquisition?

Provide purpose in work. This includes effective job training, challenging assignments, and access to mentors. Interns desire meaningful work that shows they add value to the company. Exposure to and experience in an intern’s chosen career path is also key. An internship should allow them to grow, stretch, and contribute. Make sure your intern has access to at least one mentor who can answer questions and provide guidance. In addition to offering a productive learning environment, managers should include interns in employee activities and planning meetings.

Effective communication. This includes feedback, measurable progress, and real conversations. The best companies document details about their interns’ projects, deliverables and key measurable goals. Interns want access to feedback to correct and improve performance immediately. Employers also need to engage with their interns. Be readily accessible and listen to their suggestions and questions. Setting your interns up to succeed will benefit your company.

Other demands most valued by interns are, according to Universum, opportunities for full-time employment, job orientation and training, good employer references, flexible working conditions, internal networking opportunities, client exposure, inspiring colleagues, teamwork, and international internship opportunities.

How do you meet these demands?

While you can use a variety of tools and processes to communicate with your interns and assign them projects, an internship management platform like Symba will consolidate your technology stack so you can better evaluate the effectiveness of your internship programs and adjust to create the best experiences for you and your interns. Not only will an internship management platform address the pain points of your internship program, but it will also help you competitively meet the demands that the future of our workforce poses. Our platform is flexible for both remote and in-person internships, and through our onboarding, project management, engagement, and offboarding tools, you’ll be able to provide streamlined job orientation and training, meaningful work, opportunities to connect with both mentors and other interns, and feedback and recommendations.

Organizations are evaluating their internship and early career programs to differentiate themselves in the fierce talent acquisition competition. Tomorrow’s leaders seek meaningful internships where they can be challenged with guidance and support. As an employer, you will need to put the right tools and business processes in place to meet demands and win talent over.

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Ellen Zhang

Ellen is the Chief Marketing Officer at Symba. Prior to Symba, Ellen worked in the cybersecurity industry, marketing data loss prevention (DLP) and cyber insurance solutions. She graduated from Boston College with a degree focused on Marketing and Information Systems.

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