Tips for employers: this post shares best practice tips for writing a compelling organisation profile designed to resonate with potential interns. How to: describe your organisation, products/services and the opportunity you’re offering potential interns or grads.
First impressions are everything, right? To attract the BEST interns in New Zealand you need to give candidates the information they need.
Attract the Right Intern
When you’re completing your organisation profile and writing job ads, it’s a good idea to understand your intended audience. Think about what might be important to them and marry it up to what’s important to you. They’re ACTIVELY looking for an internship, but their motivation might vary. They could be:
Keen to learn,
to get some industry experience,
add to their CV,
keen to have some autonomy,
keen to innovate,
apply what they’ve studied,
test drive their new career,
pay off a student loan,
or maybe even be aiming to get a permanent job.
If you’re hiring someone for their first professional job (or first job in this industry) then they will be asking advice from others. Friends, family members and other trusted advisors, all influence…your audience may be wider than you think! Show them that you understand the responsibility that comes with hosting an intern and that you have a plan for mentorship and support. After all, this is their first venture into this particular career path.
Naturally, you will have more applications than positions. Remember that communicating well with unsuccessful candidates is just as important as communicating with successful candidates. Why? You want to leave a good impression of your organisation regardless of the outcome of their application.
Share your Company “Why”?
The way you describe your organisation is a key opportunity to connect with future interns/employees. What is your purpose or passion?
Be clear about your value proposition just as much as candidates need to during the recruitment process. Yes, there are PLENTY of candidates who want internships, but you want to attract the “best” for your role & team!
If your brand is well-known, then potential employees may already have an impression of you, so you may also need to overcome preconceptions. You have an opportunity to impress via your public website and social channels, on your employer profile, and direct contact with candidates during the recruitment process.
Students are attracted to employees that really get their “Why”! Everyone gets the “So, where do you work?”- question. If you are able to explain why you are excited to get out of bed every morning to go do what you do… you are likely to attract and inspire.
So…What do You Do?
Don’t assume potential interns know what you do. They may know your brand but they may not know what products/services you deliver. Basic info like who your customers are or how big your organisation is can go a long way in helping a student understand what you do. Other areas you might like to cover are your office locations and culture, the roles on offer, and the size and depth of the team they’d be working with.
Keep it to a simple explanation that you’d offer a new acquaintance. Avoid jargon, or if you want to include jargon make sure it’s easily researched and doesn’t put off less confident candidates. They may assume you want a certain level of expertise, which could mean they self-select out of your pipeline.
Why are You a good Choice for an Intern?
We talked about your “Why” previously, but there might be some really neat things about your organisation that help you get ahead of the pack. Hack days, volunteer days, having a small team, having a big team, being ok with mistakes, a blameless culture, continuous learning, exceptional mentorship, remote internships, autonomous projects, time with the CEO, a neat program of rotational work, heck – mention the table tennis tourney if that’s important to your team!
Welcome Interns Well!
Think about your collateral – do you have images, videos, and stories that feature recent graduates? What’s the current makeup of your team? Can potential interns see that they will be welcome, that there’s a place for them with you?
Can you share more intern-specific information about their potential future with your organisation? What’s your company culture for learning, development, training, mentoring, career development?
Explain your intern recruitment process
Applying for jobs is stressful, especially if you’re new to it! Can you explain your selection process? Do you have any technical tests, site visits, follow-up interviews outside of the Summer of Tech recruitment events? Great if you can include tips for applicants here too. Be clear about your requirements especially if you have an R&D Experience Grant through Callaghan Innovation.