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How to Measure Your Internship Program's Conversion Rates

Published by Meghana Machiraju on April 13, 2022
2 min read

Meghana Machiraju

Meghana Machiraju is a B2B content marketing professional at Symba. Previously, Meghana worked as a Content Marketing Lead for a SaaS healthcare startup. She holds a Masters in Marketing from Schulich School of Business, Canada, and an MBA in Advertising from Symbiosis International University, India. Outside of work, you will find her traveling or looking for the next vegetarian restaurant to go to!

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The US Department of Labor estimates the price of a bad hire at around 30 percent of that employee’s first-year salary. But it’s a human resources reality: often, a new employee might make a solid impression in the interview process, but simply doesn't gel with your current team or the way your company operates. 

Using internship programs as recruitment pipelines can help combat this. These programs act like a ‘trial run’ period for you to discern whether your interns are a good fit to become full-time employees. Additionally, interns get an inside perspective into company culture and products or services and are exposed to the work that they’d be doing, better preparing them for full-time roles. 

How can you measure an internship program’s ROI, specifically recruitment ROI? We have an entire chapter in our Metrics Workbook to help you discover your ROI. Here’s a sneak peek of the metrics mentioned: 

Cost per intern hire per source:

During the recruitment phase, track the costs spent on job search platforms (LinkedIn, RippleMatch, Indeed, etc.) and the number of interns hired per source. The outcome allows you to see how much it costs to hire an intern through that source and whether it is worth the investment. 

Offer rate:

Knowing the rate at which you offer interns full-time positions is important. It shows how many full-time opportunities you are providing your interns and how well you are tapping into your invested talent pool. 

Acceptance rate:

The metric is calculated by taking into account the number of full-time offers made and the number of acceptances. Besides knowing how many job offers you are generating, your acceptance rate reveals the competitiveness and attractiveness of these offers. You will need to know both your offer and acceptance rates to find out how well interns are converting. 

Conversion rate:

Calculating your conversion rate gives you the percentage of acceptances derived from your pool of eligible interns. With the average intern-to-full-time conversion rate at about 46 percent, your conversion metrics reveal whether your company is amongst those harnessing the potential team strengthening and cost-saving abilities of interns. Having a high conversion rate is also an indicator of your internship program’s merit and can be used to attract interns and strengthen leadership support. 

Hiring costs saved per intern hired:

On average, filling a vacant role takes 42 days, $4,129, and a wager that the employee will fit in successfully. On top of that, research shows that intern-to-full-time employees see higher retention rates. While internships require funding, you can save time and HR costs while improving company culture and enjoying better retention, thus reaping greater payoffs!

Guess what? Beyond the metrics mentioned above, the chapter also provides information on how to capture this data, ready-to-use templates to measure some of these metrics, and overall recommendations to improve the retention and recruitment ROI of your internship program! Download this chapter now.

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