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  • Internship Experience the Most Influential Factor in Tough Hiring Decisions

    January 07, 2022 | By Kevin Gray

    Candidate Selection
    An intern meets with her new supervisors.

    TAGS: candidate selection, surveys, nace insights

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    When choosing between two otherwise equally qualified candidates, employers deem having an internship with its organization or within its industry to be the most influential factors, according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2022 report.

    Those attributes, however, were the only two that employers consider to have “very much influence.” Furthermore, while this has been the case over the past three years, the influence of both attributes has waned slightly since 2020.

    While the drop in the influence of grade point average has been reported and continues here, the influence of a candidate holding a leadership position is also down since 2020.

    The Job Outlook survey is a forecast of hiring intentions of employers as they relate to new college graduates. Data for the Job Outlook 2022 survey were collected from August 18, 2021, through October 1, 2021. Of the 157 total respondents, 116 were NACE employer members, representing 15.7 percent of eligible member respondents. The Job Outlook 2022 survey was also distributed to nonmember companies from which an additional 41 responses were received. The Job Outlook 2022 report is available in MyNACE.

    Figure 1: Influence of Attributes

    Attribute 2022 Average Influence Rating* 2021 Average Influence Rating* 2020 Average Influence Rating*
    Has completed an internship with your organization 4.4 4.5 4.6
    Has internship experience in your industry 4.3 4.3 4.4
    Major 3.8 3.8 3.9
    Has held leadership position 3.6 3.6 3.9
    Has general work experience 3.7 3.6 3.6
    Has been involved in extracurricular activities (clubs, sports, student government, etc.) 3.5 3.4 3.6
    High GPA (3.0 or above) 3.1 3.2 3.5
    Has no work experience 3.3 3.2 3.4
    Has done volunteer work 2.7 2.8 2.7
    School attended 2.6 2.5 2.7
    Is fluent in a foreign language 2.1 2.1 2.2
    Has studied abroad 2.0 1.8 2.0
    Source: Job Outlook 2022, National Association of Colleges and Employers. *5-point scale, where 1=No influence at all, 2=Not much influence, 3=Somewhat of an influence, 4=Very much influence, and 5=Extreme influence.