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  • Sourcing Interns: Open Applications, Career Center Contacts

    October 26, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Recruiters meet with a career services professional to discuss their internship program.

    TAGS: internships, recruiting methods, nace insights, sourcing

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
    October 26, 2016

    On average, employers begin recruiting interns eight months before their start date, according to NACE’s 2016 Internship and Co-op Survey. How do they source their interns?

    Overall, employers most widely sourced from open applications (52.4 percent), although it was also common for them to have been sourced from direct career center contacts (39.6 percent). (See Figure 1.)

    Employers in the construction, food/beverage manufacturing, and management consulting industries were more heavily dependent on direct career center contacts to source their interns than were employers in other industries.

    Meanwhile, employers in the engineering, motor vehicle manufacturing, and transportation industries were less dependent on career center and faculty contacts, having sourced more than two-thirds of their interns from open applications.

    NACE’s 2016 Internship and Co-op Survey was conducted from November 9, 2015, to February 17, 2016, among NACE employer members; 271, or 26.9 percent, responded. The survey report will be available later this spring. Survey participants can access a full copy of the report through MyNACE. Highlights from the 2016 Internship and Co-op Survey are available at

    Figure 1: Sources of intern hires

    Direct Career Center Contacts Direct Faculty Contacts Open Applications
    Percentage of Respondents
    Overall 39.6% 7.9% 52.4%
    Oil/Gas Extraction 41.7% 4.4% 53.9%
    Utilities 32.9% 5.9% 61.3%
    Construction 66.7% 13.3% 20.0%
    Food/Beverage Manufacturing 54.0% 3.3% 42.7%
    Chemical/Pharmaceutical Manufacturing 39.5% 9.0% 51.6%
    Computer/Electronics Manufacturing 42.1% 5.6% 52.3%
    Motor Vehicle Manufacturing 20.8% 3.3% 76.0%
    Misc. Manufacturing 48.3% 6.8% 45.0%
    Wholesale Trade 37.1% 18.6% 44.3%
    Retail Trade 45.2% 7.9% 46.9%
    Transportation 26.6% 3.4% 70.0%
    Information 34.4% 7.6% 58.1%
    Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate 34.4% 7.6% 58.1%
    Engineering Services 25.8% 6.7% 67.5%
    Misc. Prof. Services 37.3% 12.3% 50.4%
    Source: 2016 Internship and Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers