Over are the days in which an intern was just the guy or gal who handled the coffee machine or the photo copier. Apparently, companies even need to get creative to lure the best talent into an internship.
InternMatch, a startup I had the pleasure of covering here on EDUKWEST and over at KirstenWinkler.com from early on, is providing companies in search of interns with some brand new features. As Nathan Parcells, founder and CMO of InternMatch told me in an email
Ernst and Young converts over 90% of its intern class into full-time hires, due in a large part to heavily vetting candidates for cultural fit.
With the new $500k funding by 500 Startups and other prolific investors including Netflix Founder Marc Randolph, Mafia Wars Founder Roger Dickey and Angel Fund Social Leverage, InternMatch launches a new feature called Community Pages today. The aim is to give interns a precise idea of what it will be like to work for a certain company right from the start and InternMatch was able to get some big brands like Pixar, AOL, Wikimedia or Yelp on board.
It is clear that traditional internship postings are very bad at communicating what a role and company are really like. If both sides can move away from being just words on paper, the chances for identifying better quality matches increases substantially.
Community Pages are basically interactive showcases of a company’s unique culture. They can add videos, photos, Q&A and social media elements to their pages and interns can directly interact with the brands by posting questions.
Companies are increasingly defined by their culture and decision whom to hire are more and more based on a cultural fit of the applicant. Zappos is probably the best-known example. I asked Nathan why it becoming so very important for companies to showcase their unique culture.
Generation-Y is extremely interested in finding places to work that combine personal interests with career building, so for companies demonstrating culture is more important than ever before. A recent NACE survey showed that the #1 reason employers do on-campus recruiting is to promote their employment brand, so it is clear they are investing a lot of money into this avenue.
That is an interesting point and shift from previous generations where many employees were mostly looking at salary, social security and maybe how many holidays, and I think one reason for this might also be that in many cases interns bring talents along with them that cannot be found in companies today. They are digital natives and have skill-sets that are totally different from those of older employees in a company and therefore a valuable asset. Nathan points out that
In our field, internship programs are getting more serious and more competitive for talent. In the past, employers were more reactive about finding candidates, now most companies recognize students as a primary source for future hires, and are actively seeking the best students. This requires recruiting year around and on every campus.
Interns today are in a much better position than a couple of years ago. That’s why they can be picky about where to work. Finally, I asked Nathan if InternMatch sees a preference whether working for a startup or established brand
This depends a lot on the student! We saw a ton of success with our Kill the Cover Letter Competition and interest from students to work at startups. I think the idea of having a major impact on a quickly growing startup appeals to students (as does going to work in a t-shirt and jeans). Still, many students covet working at brand name companies, that are widely acknowledged industry leaders.
Nathan will be back on EDUKWEST for an interview next week, so if you have any questions for him post them in the comments or on our Facebook page.