Why Unpaid Internships Hurt Companies As Well As Students

Unpaid internships were trending last week - I didn’t even realize this was still a thing. Yes, some college students may be willing and able to work for free. But should we ask them to? And what are the consequences of doing so?

Ironically, unpaid internships actually hurt companies as well as college students. Beyond hindering diversity efforts, college students with the greatest skills and most potential (irrespective of background) choose internships that provide the most total benefit for them (including, but not limited to, compensation). As a result, companies that don’t pay their interns damage their brand and get lower quality candidates for future hires, which totally undermines the benefits companies want from internship programs.

There’s never been a better time to take action, as I'm sure that each of you has a project on your plate that's not the best use of your time, but would be a great opportunity for a college student: Content creation. Research. Data cleansing. Lead gen...

Why not let a college student or recent grad get it done for you (especially since there are no HR or administrative burdens). They are excited to exceed your expectations as they showcase their skills and learn about your organization.

Innovative companies have already recognized that this approach can be invaluable, especially right now as recruiters worry about achieving their early-career goals, value a “plan b” for those who renege, or want to ensure the success of their summer programs. Beyond the value for managers and the social impact, as we’ll share during our webinar on Wednesday, March 10, companies have leveraged this approach to drive positive outcomes including enhanced diversity (>80% of selected Micro-Interns come from underrepresented populations), improved retention (>97% retention rate), and lower cost-per-hire.

Hope to see you virtually on Wednesday,

 

Jeffrey Moss, Founder and CEO


Articles of the Week

The Future of Digital Work Depends On More Than Tech Skills - MIT Sloan Management Review

How Companies Will Balance Virtual and In-Person Recruiting in a Post-Pandemic World - Linkedin Talent Blog

Why You Need Summer Interns Now, and 3 Tips for Hiring the Best Ones - Entrepreneur

These HR Experts Reveal What Needs To Change In 2021 If Companies Want To Succeed - Forbes

 


The Future of Digital Work Depends On More Than Tech Skills - MIT Sloan Management Review

“Whether working as salaried employees or as gig workers, people need more than technical know-how; they also need skills in communication and collaboration, along with the real-world smarts and confidence that come from working on actual commercial projects.”

Because Africa’s under-25 population will make up more than a quarter of the world’s by 2030, the region will likely be a major growth spot for digital talent. Young people will likely be trained remotely because of the continent’s variable internet access but remote skills-building programs will need to ensure that they do not focus solely on technical training. Companies across the globe will need to provide training in soft skills, along with professional projects via internship or apprenticeships, in order to fully develop the future’s workforce and build employability skills.  

Related reading: At the Core of Job Success: Why “Soft” Skills are Core Skills


How Companies Will Balance Virtual and In-Person Recruiting in a Post-Pandemic World - Linkedin Talent Blog

“He also believes that many candidates will want to experience the company culture in a tangible way, which isn’t always easy over video. ‘There’s something really validating in seeing people working in the offices,’ John says, ‘seeing how people are treated, seeing real collaboration and inclusion with your own eyes.’”

When meeting or interviewing candidates remotely, it can be difficult for hiring managers and candidates alike to form an authentic connection. Micro-Internships can aid in this issue because they allow candidates to complete real, professional assignments on behalf of hiring managers, building real relationships, creating a better experience, and enhancing the ability to assess skills.

Related reading: Micro-Internships and the Benefits of Remote Work for Students


Why You Need Summer Interns Now, and 3 Tips for Hiring the Best Ones - Entrepreneur

“Internships create a diverse pipeline of future hires. Bring them in to impact your business. When you commit to working with interns, you commit to the future of their education and success. You will be amazed at how much they contribute to yours.” 

Internships are, perhaps, the best way to build relationships with early-career talent, especially in the age of remote recruiting. Interns deliver fresh, effective ideas to companies and provide hiring managers with potential future hires already familiar with company practices. Internships also provide young people the opportunity to develop skills they cannot learn in the classroom. 

Related reading: Company Voice: Why We Launched a Micro-Internship Program


These HR Experts Reveal What Needs To Change In 2021 If Companies Want To Succeed - Forbes

“The more that HR can encourage conversation and create an environment for developing relationships that aren't just about KPIs, the more organizations will succeed.”

In this article, four leading HR experts describe the changes that workplaces need to make in order to successfully operate in the midst of the past year’s events. Among the most important of these lessons is building productive, diverse, and communicative relationships with employees.  

Related reading: Career Launcher Resource: Effective professional communications


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