How To Fill A Last-Minute Summer Internship Vacancy

By Ashley Paskill on June 17, 2022

Now that summer is approaching, college students are looking for internships. You may have filled your internship positions, but sometimes, things come up and you suddenly find yourself with an unexpected vacancy. Having to fill a vacancy so quickly can be overwhelming, but there are things you can do to bring in applicants who want to apply.

Make the internship more appealing

When it comes to internships, people typically think of candidates competing for the same internship, trying to be the one for the position. However, companies are also competing for candidates. Some internships are able to provide more benefits than others, while some candidates are more focused on the company and experience. Consider adding benefits such as working from home, free lunch, or even a small compensation. Being able to offer something to your intern will help motivate candidates to apply and accept the position. In the description of the internship, mention things you offer like mentorships, on-site gym access, and weekly networking events.

Have the program prepared

If you do not have an internship program completely prepared, candidates will get mixed messages about what is expected of them and what they will get out of the experience. However, having a full program set up gives candidates full information on what is expected and what they will get out of the internship. Interns like knowing what tasks they will be doing and what they will learn, so it is important to have these things clearly outlined so they are as informed as possible. Have definite start and end dates and let the candidates know. Be sure you know exactly where interns are needed and what tasks are within each department. Work with your employees to see if there are projects an intern can help with that could be educational.

Advertise the internship

No one is going to apply for the internship if they do not even know about it. Advertise across social media and on college job and internship boards. Some colleges and universities have job boards for specific majors and fields, so advertising on these boards will give you candidates who will be interested in your internship specifically and will already have the knowledge and experience you are looking for in an intern. In your posts across social media, highlight the most important details of the internship, especially the benefits and what interns will learn.

Image: Tracey Le Blanc via

Highlight company culture

When you are looking for potential internship candidates, highlight your company’s culture. Many college students are more focused on the culture of the company and not just the paycheck. Ask current employees and even previous interns for feedback on what they liked about their experience and spotlight these things. Your company may be one of the best companies for community among coworkers, or your benefits may be great and include interns. Be sure to find a way to get this information across in your job posting and any advertising you do on social media.

Recruit properly

Even if your interns are not getting paid, it is still important to recruit and hire interns properly. Go through the interview process with your interns as you would with any paid employee. This allows them to feel valued and be able to experience what a job interview in the industry is like. As long as these recruiting and hiring strategies have been successful in the past, you should be successful now. If you have not been successful, consider tweaking your approach and fixing what needs to be fixed.

Focus on the future

It may be tempting to focus on the summer months ahead of you, but many interns at companies go on to work at the companies they interned at. Look at your team and any projects you have now or are planning in the future. This will help determine if you can bring in interns as employees once the internship ends. In the end, this is a win-win as you will save money on hiring and recruiting, and the intern will have possible growth. Candidates who know there is growth for potential interns once their program ends can be a great motivator for applying for an internship.

Ask current employees

Your current employees are a great way to determine where to look for interns. See where your longest-tenured employee and your most recent hire went to school and advertise in those places. Ask your employees if they have anyone they have been networking with who is a potential intern for the company. See if your employees are still connected to their colleges and universities and have them network with recent grads who may be searching for a summer internship.

Filling a last-minute summer internship vacancy can be annoying and tedious, but there are things you can do to make it work. Knowing who to ask, where to look, and how to do your job effectively can make all the difference.

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