What to Know About Offering a Full-time Job to Summer Interns

By Alicia Geigel on July 3, 2022

Summertime is a popular time for students to seek employment, whether in a permanent role or an internship position. For many students, taking on a summer internship is a great opportunity to not only add credits on the path to their college degree but also gain work experience along the way.

After the summer ends, summer interns typically look for some type of permanent position in the company they interned with. As an employer, you may be considering bringing on your summer interns and hiring them for a full-time position. Here is everything you need to know about making the leap and offering interns a job position at your company.

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1. Put Out an Offer Right Away: Summer interns don’t necessarily have time to be on standby and wait for an offer. Whether their student loans need to be repaid or they need a job to support themselves through college, students will most likely extensively search and apply for job positions when their internship is over. If you are considering bringing on your intern and hiring them for a full-time position, put out your offer right away. Competitive companies with comparable salaries and benefits could easily take a perfectly capable, decent intern right out of your hands. The second you are thinking about hiring, reach out to them with an offer.

2. Make a Tempting Offer: There is an age-old saying that goes “there are plenty of fish in the sea,” and while that mostly applies to romantic situations, it can also apply to your intern finding a job. The job market is the sea and your company/job offer is just a fish swimming around the many others. One way to entice your intern and get them to commit to your position is to make a job offer that stands out from all the others. It may be hard to do this in a competitive job market, but there are a few different ways to make your offer worthwhile. Ashley Mosley of Smart Recruiters suggests, “Offer students a signing bonus in exchange for an early commitment to your company. If you can’t compete with the compensation packages offered by large companies, offer other benefits like stock options and equity, access to your network, and introductions to mentors or other industry professionals.”

3. Explore Peer-to-Peer Referrals: Sometimes interns may want to commit to another position or the current one you offered may not be good enough for them. This scenario happens plenty of times, but one way that you can perhaps get around an intern slipping through your fingers is by considering peer-to-peer referrals. It is likely that your intern is connected to a network of other capable, hard-working people in your respective field, which means there is a possibility they could bring you good candidates. Offer your intern a bonus for referring friends or fellow peers for your current hiring position. This can entice them to take on the job and bring in more worthy applicants which can help you fill job vacancies faster.

4. Pair the Intern with a Mentor: Once you’ve gotten past the hiring process with your intern, you want to make sure you can keep them on your team and in your company. To help your former intern and new employee get acclimated to the job responsibilities and work environment, pair them with a mentor. A mentor can help oversee some of their daily tasks and ensure that they thrive in their position. Doing so is an equal opportunity for your former intern to learn and make mistakes in an environment that facilitates growth. Additionally, it gives them the confidence that they are taken seriously and not just some new employee that is ignored and disregarded.

5. Make Work Meaningful: More often than not, interns are tasked with doing boring, exhausting, grunt work. Because they don’t have much experience in the work field, their knowledge and experience of doing specific tasks are limited. After your intern completes the internship and you hire them, don’t reduce them to the same kind of work- instead, make it meaningful. Give them responsibilities that are pertinent to growing in their career and treat them like your seasoned employees. “Make sure you are bringing interns into bigger picture conversations about what you are doing and why you are doing it. That involvement will inspire interns to think big picture, show them the importance of the day-to-day work and spark an interest long term,” Charlie Terenzio told Forbes.

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There is a lot to consider when hiring a summer intern for a full-time position in your company. Between timing the right offer to detailing the right benefits, securing a good intern for a permanent position can get tricky, but if they are the right one, the process will come together seamlessly. All in all, if you take the time to value your intern beforehand, they’ll definitely be more interested in sticking with you long-term.

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