Intern Satisfaction the Key to Conversion

June 1, 2020 | By NACE Staff

INTERNSHIPS
A friendly coworker helps a company intern.

TAGS: best practices, coronavirus, Internships, nace insights, operations,

Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

Intern conversion is a business imperative at all times, but especially in the current job market, when many organizations respond to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic by shrinking programs and budgets.

Employers converted 55.5 percent of their interns from the Class of 2019 into full-time, entry-level hires, according to results of the 2020 Internship & Co-op Survey Report. (See Figure 1.) However, it is important to consider the timing of the survey. Data collection for the survey took place from November 6, 2019, to February 7, 2020, meaning responses were submitted before the coronavirus crisis escalated into a pandemic and may not reflect the situation’s full impact on operations. Still, it is important to understand where employers were as they plan for the “new normal” in the college recruiting field.

What works when converting interns into full-time hires? Of course, a student’s satisfaction with an internship is paramount. Results from a NACE study of student attitudes, behaviors, and preferences suggest that interns who were satisfied with their internship experience were 5.08 times more likely to accept an off­er from their internship employer.

NACE dove deeper into this in its 2019 Student Survey by using students’ responses on the specific aspects of their internship to predict if they were also satisfied with their experience and likely to accept a full-time offer from the same employer. (Figure 2 provides the odds ratios from these regressions.)

As explained in an article in the February 2020 issue of the NACE Journal, an odds ratio provides the likelihood of an event occurring relative to another event (or non-event). Therefore, if interns thought their co-workers were helpful and friendly, they were almost 14 times more likely to say their experience was very or extremely satisfying, and they were 3.3 times more likely to accept a full-time offer from the same employer.

Employers should use these findings to focus their energies on improving these aspects of the internship —which do translate into the virtual workplace—so interns feel their experience was satisfying and are more willing to accept an offer.

Survey participants can access the 2020 Internship & Co-op Survey Report in MyNACE; an executive summary of the report is available in the NACE Store.

Figure 1: Intern conversion rates, 2016-20

 
Interns
202055.5%
201956.1%
201845.6%
201751.3%
201661.9%
  2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Interns 55.5% 56.1% 45.6% 51.3% 61.9%
Source: 2020 Internship & Co-op Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers

Figure 2: Evaluations of internship experience

 
Unpaid
AgreePaid
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
Overall
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
 
 
Friendly/helpful co-workers
Agree92.8%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
90.3%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
90.8%
13.93
3.34
Had mentor
Agree75.4%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
75.5%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
75.5%
7.34
2.55
Had meaningful duties
Agree62.9%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
60.8%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
62.6%
7.11
2.21
Want career in same industry
Agree62.8%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
58.4%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
61.3%
6.91
8.25
Paid fairly
Agree9.9%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
83.0%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
49.1%
2.29
1.46
  Agree Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
Unpaid Paid Overall    
Friendly/helpful co-workers 92.8% 90.3% 90.8% 13.93 3.34
Had mentor 75.4% 75.5% 75.5% 7.34 2.55
Had meaningful duties 62.9% 60.8% 62.6% 7.11 2.21
Want career in same industry 62.8% 58.4% 61.3% 6.91 8.25
Paid fairly 9.9% 83.0% 49.1% 2.29 1.46
Source: 2020 Internship & Co-op Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers

Intern Satisfaction the Key to Conversion

June 1, 2020 | By NACE Staff

INTERNSHIPS
A friendly coworker helps a company intern.

TAGS: best practices, coronavirus, Internships, nace insights, operations,

Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

Intern conversion is a business imperative at all times, but especially in the current job market, when many organizations respond to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic by shrinking programs and budgets.

Employers converted 55.5 percent of their interns from the Class of 2019 into full-time, entry-level hires, according to results of the 2020 Internship & Co-op Survey Report. (See Figure 1.) However, it is important to consider the timing of the survey. Data collection for the survey took place from November 6, 2019, to February 7, 2020, meaning responses were submitted before the coronavirus crisis escalated into a pandemic and may not reflect the situation’s full impact on operations. Still, it is important to understand where employers were as they plan for the “new normal” in the college recruiting field.

What works when converting interns into full-time hires? Of course, a student’s satisfaction with an internship is paramount. Results from a NACE study of student attitudes, behaviors, and preferences suggest that interns who were satisfied with their internship experience were 5.08 times more likely to accept an off­er from their internship employer.

NACE dove deeper into this in its 2019 Student Survey by using students’ responses on the specific aspects of their internship to predict if they were also satisfied with their experience and likely to accept a full-time offer from the same employer. (Figure 2 provides the odds ratios from these regressions.)

As explained in an article in the February 2020 issue of the NACE Journal, an odds ratio provides the likelihood of an event occurring relative to another event (or non-event). Therefore, if interns thought their co-workers were helpful and friendly, they were almost 14 times more likely to say their experience was very or extremely satisfying, and they were 3.3 times more likely to accept a full-time offer from the same employer.

Employers should use these findings to focus their energies on improving these aspects of the internship —which do translate into the virtual workplace—so interns feel their experience was satisfying and are more willing to accept an offer.

Survey participants can access the 2020 Internship & Co-op Survey Report in MyNACE; an executive summary of the report is available in the NACE Store.

Figure 1: Intern conversion rates, 2016-20

 
Interns
202055.5%
201956.1%
201845.6%
201751.3%
201661.9%
  2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Interns 55.5% 56.1% 45.6% 51.3% 61.9%
Source: 2020 Internship & Co-op Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers

Figure 2: Evaluations of internship experience

 
Unpaid
AgreePaid
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
Overall
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
 
 
Friendly/helpful co-workers
Agree92.8%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
90.3%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
90.8%
13.93
3.34
Had mentor
Agree75.4%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
75.5%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
75.5%
7.34
2.55
Had meaningful duties
Agree62.9%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
60.8%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
62.6%
7.11
2.21
Want career in same industry
Agree62.8%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
58.4%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
61.3%
6.91
8.25
Paid fairly
Agree9.9%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
83.0%
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
49.1%
2.29
1.46
  Agree Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of Intern
Satisfaction
Odds Ratios for
Likelihood of
Accepting Offer From
Same Employer
Unpaid Paid Overall    
Friendly/helpful co-workers 92.8% 90.3% 90.8% 13.93 3.34
Had mentor 75.4% 75.5% 75.5% 7.34 2.55
Had meaningful duties 62.9% 60.8% 62.6% 7.11 2.21
Want career in same industry 62.8% 58.4% 61.3% 6.91 8.25
Paid fairly 9.9% 83.0% 49.1% 2.29 1.46
Source: 2020 Internship & Co-op Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers

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