(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. This year, Kronos had its largest ever internship program with more than 80 interns in various departments. Since 2010, more than 30 former interns have been hired by the company. Enjoy the post!)
Interns are a great source for new hires. They know the company and the company knows them. Even if the intern isn’t currently interested in a position, they might have friends who are looking for a new opportunity.
As employers are faced with a candidate-driven job market, building and maintaining a positive working relationship with interns will be an important part of their recruiting strategy. A couple of years ago, Kronos shared with us the secrets to an award-winning internship program. It’s a great read, I hope you’ll check it out. One of the key activities was staying in touch with interns.
But how do you do that? Send postcards or regular emails? Both of those are possible but the real way to stay connected is by creating an experience that bonds the interns and the company. Something everyone will talk about. Something interns might even want to visit (post-internship).
In the past, Kronos has held their own Intern Kronolympics. This year, Kronos decided to kick it up a notch and invited five fellow Greater Boston technology companies to hold the inaugural Summer Games: Battle of the Interns. It’s a day of competition and networking for organizations and individuals focused on innovation, technology and leadership. In watching the video, it was a day of hard work pure fun.
I asked Aron Ain, chief executive officer at Kronos, what prompted them to host the event. “Parents, families, teachers, and schools all play a critical role in shaping the workforce of the future – but I believe employers should also play a major part by offering resources, mentors, and events such as The Summer Games: Battle of the Interns that inspire and motivate young minds. I’m so proud of how our own growing internship and co-op programs are helping build the leaders of tomorrow, and we have gained just as much value from our college and high school colleagues than they have from Kronos.”
While the goal was to give interns an event they’ll never forget – and I think Kronos was very successful in doing that – they also accomplished a couple other things.
Industry Connections: The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC), the region’s leading technology association, offered volunteers to help with the event. This provided interns with the opportunity to connect with a professional association that can help to advance their career.
Networking: After the games, the interns, company employees and volunteers were able to celebrate and network. Just think – next year’s networking event is a perfect opportunity to invite former interns. They can share stories and stay connected with the industry.
The goal of an internship program is to provide young professionals with an opportunity to experience the industry they’ve chosen. It’s to give them a chance to gain some work experience. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a little whole lot of fun along the way. In fact, maybe one of the best things you can teach interns is the importance of working hard and playing hard.