How to make interns return: 5 Tips for intern retention

May 25, 2013

Although I'm not a college graduate yet, I've had a year of experience at Metis. Why? Because Metis knows how to make its interns and co-ops come back. I did my first co-op here and loved it so much, I returned part-time last fall and I'm back for my second co-op. Businesses often want their interns and co-ops to join the staff after graduation because they can bypass training and jump into projects immediately, which is why it's just as important for businesses to know the do's and don'ts of employee retention as it is for job seekers to the know the do's and don'ts of getting hired.

Here are some do's and don'ts for businesses that want their interns and co-ops to return:

  1. DO challenge them: By giving interns responsibility, you'll make them feel like an integral part of the team. Plus, you can gauge if they have the qualities your company looks for in successful full-time employees.
  2. DO talk to them: If you walk by their desks, ask them how their days are going or what they have planned for the weekend. Get to know them.
  3. DON'T forget them: After students return to classes, stay in contact with them. Send them e-mails to see how their semesters are going.
  4. DO make them part of the team: Even though some interns and co-ops may not be old enough for happy hour, invite them along for the opportunity to bond with the team over appetizers.
  5. DON'T ignore their suggestions: When they suggest something, explain why it's a good idea or how to improve it. If it's not on target, help them figure out another plan.

I'm not the only one who caught the Metis bug. Elizabeth, Rachel and Erin started out as interns and co-ops, too!

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