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7 Metrics to Track While Conducting Intern and New Grad Headcount Planning

Published by Anna George on October 18, 2022
3 min read

Anna George

Anna George is a Digital Marketing Intern at Symba. Previously, Anna has worked as a Communications Intern for a nonprofit organization. She is working toward her BAJMC in Advertising and Minor in Sociology at Drake University. Outside of work, you will find her organizing student events, destressing at the gym, or out and about searching for unique small businesses in her area!

Free Intern and New Grad Headcount Planning Checklist

Outline your headcount planning strategy in 7 simple steps with this free checklist.
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Ever wondered how successful your early talent program is when it comes to meeting short and long-term headcount goals? Tracking metrics is the most important way to assess your program and begin headcount planning, but it can be difficult knowing where to begin and what to measure. 

If you are leveraging interns and new grads to supercharge your talent pipeline, here are 7 key metrics you definitely need to keep an eye on when conducting headcount planning:

1. New Grad Promotion Rate

Promotion rate refers to the percent of employees you are looking to promote in an upcoming period. Specifically, establishing your new grad promotion rate informs you how many existing new grads will likely be promoted, so you can predict how many new grad roles you will need to fill in the upcoming recruitment cycle.

Promotion rates also guide you on how inclusive your company is. You can quickly assess the number of diverse new grads who have been promoted in proportion to the overall promotion rate, and the factors contributing to the situation.

2. Intern Conversion Rate

NACE reports that companies who leverage internship programs as a recruiting tool need to convert at least 50% of their interns to full-time hires to make the program sustainable as a talent pipeline. Intern conversion rate plays a major role in headcount planning. The interns that convert are new grads you won’t have to hire directly or externally.

3. Time to Hire

Time to hire is a key indicator of how long it takes to process, assess, and interview a job candidate before they accept an offer. A 2018 survey by Spark Hire reports that it takes 49% of companies 7-14 days from receiving an application to offering a job to successful candidates, while 24% reported it takes 15-30 days. Of course, this varies by role and industry, so keep that in mind. When conducting headcount planning, consider how long it takes your company to hire. Ensure that you have enough time to recruit and onboard interns and new grads so they are ready to hit the ground running.

4. Employee Demographic Data

Employee demographics are the characteristics, traits, and qualities of your workforce (such as their age, gender, race, etc). Tracking important DEI metrics will help you understand the areas in which your organization can improve in diversity so you can take measures to tackle this, including devising an inclusive early talent recruitment strategy. You should also track DEI metrics of your early talent programs to measure impact.

5. Employee Attrition Rate

Also known as churn rate, employee attrition is the regular, albeit unforeseen and uncontrollable, loss in personnel caused by resignation, sickness, or mortality.

Similar to promotion rate, attrition rate will help you determine how many new grads you will need to backfill due to attrition.

6. Average Retention Rate

According to NACE, over 71% of interns with internal experience stay with the company for at least one year. For many businesses, retention is as challenging as hiring, but creating an attractive career path for interns can help. Your headcount planning will be more realistic if you know your average retention rate.

7. Internal Mobility Rate

Internal mobility is the movement of employees within an organization, such as when a new grad starts in one department but ends up in a new role in a different department a year later. This workforce metric can give you insight into upcoming openings and help you decide which of these openings can be filled by hiring interns or new grads.

Interested in Learning More About Headcount Planning? We Have Something for You!

Intern and new grad headcount planning is a complex process! While it might seem daunting to kick off headcount planning, it doesn’t have to be. Here is a checklist on “7 Steps to Follow While Conducting Intern and New Grad Headcount Planning” (exclusive spreadsheet to help you calculate your headcounts included 👀) for early talent leaders like you to understand how you can get strategic about hiring, growing, and ensuring the success of your interns as well as your company’s future.

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