There are endless articles on how candidates can hold up their end of the deal in maintaining relationships after their internship program ends. But what about companies?
Candidate-company relationships must be a two-way street: nurturing relationships with interns after their program has ended is crucial for building a strong talent pipeline and enhancing your employer brand. Interns who have positive experiences are more likely to return for full-time roles and become brand advocates, promoting your company to their networks and attracting more top talent on your behalf.
By taking the initiative and staying in touch with your former interns, you can gain valuable insights and feedback on your program, enabling continuous improvement. Offering mentorship and guidance as they navigate their early careers can also contribute to your professional growth. Here are our top 10 tips for staying connected to your interns post-program.
Set up personalized check-ins
Many Fortune 500 companies successfully convert around 80% of their interns into entry-level positions. Considering that interns may participate in multiple internship programs, it’s essential to keep your organization top-of-mind. Schedule regular meetings, emails, or calls with your intern candidates to see how they’re doing and check-in with them on timely events (i.e. school year starting, ending, graduations, etc.).
Connect on social media
Connect with your interns on social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter to stay connected, share updates, and engage in a more informal setting.
Establish an intern alumni network
Creating a dedicated communication platform (Abode directory or forums do exactly this!) can help promote connections, shared experiences, and networking opportunities. Other methods include getting candidates together via LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, and Slack channels. Plan virtual or in-person gatherings, such as networking events, workshops, or social outings to allow interns to reconnect and share updates on their experiences.
Provide ongoing mentorship and support
Offer career advice and guidance, and connect interns with industry professionals and resources. Provide interns with access to online training materials or industry publications, or share webinars, training sessions, or workshops to help them to stay current in their fields and continue developing their skills.
Celebrate success stories
Share updates on intern achievements and career milestones through your company's communication channels, such as newsletters, blogs, or social media, to showcase their growth and accomplishments.
Offer opportunities for continued involvement
Engage former interns in relevant projects, freelance opportunities, or part-time roles, allowing them to continue developing their skills and contributing to your organization in different ways.
Organize networking events
Facilitate connecting former interns with other professionals in their field. Introducing former interns to professionals in their fields of interest can help expand their networks and create opportunities for collaboration and growth.
Share relevant job (or additional intern!) opportunities
Inquire about a candidate’s interns in pursuing additional roles within your company. Introducing the prospect of an additional position, or permanent position, early on can maintain excitement and enthusiasm for joining your organization.
Providing consistent feedback on the work your interns did during their internship and continuing to provide feedback on their work as they progress in their careers can help them continue developing their skills and grow as professionals.
Offer letters of recommendation or references
Be open, available, and willing to provide strong recommendations or serve as a reference for former interns as they apply for jobs, additional internships, graduate programs, or other opportunities. Demonstrate your continued support for their professional growth.
In conclusion, staying connected with your interns post-program is an essential investment that pays dividends for both your organization and the interns themselves. By implementing the strategies outlined above, you not only foster a strong sense of community and loyalty but also contribute to the long-term success of your organization by building a robust talent pipeline and nurturing valuable, future leaders.
For more insights like these, or to take your intern communication and engagement strategies to the next level, get in touch with the team at Abode. Abode is redefining and reimagining the employee engagement experience: our all-in-one platform helps early-career teams distribute and share information, create community, and outline expectations. Learn more today.