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  • Sourcing, Target Schools for Recruiting Interns, Co-ops

    April 16, 2018 | By NACE Staff

    An intern accepts an internship.

    TAGS: internships, recruiting, nace insights, sourcing, co-ops

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    How does your organization source its interns and co-ops? If it is like those responding to NACE’s 2018 Internship & Co-op Survey, two primary sources stand out: open applications and contacts at college career centers.

    Employers source approximately half of their interns and co-ops from open applications, while they source about 40 percent from direct contacts at career centers. Meanwhile, only slightly more than 8 percent of interns and co-ops are sourced through direct faculty contacts. (See Figure 1.)

    In addition, the target schools that employers select at which to recruit their interns and co-ops tend to meet key criteria, including:

    • Recruiting experience with the school;
    • The majors offered;
    • The location of the school; and
    • The perceived quality of the programs.

    These four top criteria are not only the most widely used factors, but they are identified as the most important by employers. (See Figure 2.)

    Data for the 2018 Internship & Co-op Survey report were collected from November 8, 2017, to March 2, 2018, from NACE employer members; there were 309 respondents representing 29.1 percent of all eligible respondents. The survey report will be available later this spring.

    Figure 1. Sources of intern and co-op hires

      Mean 2018 Mean 2017
    Interns Open applications 55.2% 50.5%
    Direct career center contacts 36.6% 40.0%
    Direct faculty contacts 8.2% 9.5%
    Co-ops Open applications 51.7% 47.0%
    Direct career center contacts 39.3% 43.9%
    Direct faculty contacts 8.2% 9.2%
    Source: 2018 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Target school selection criteria for interns and co-ops: 2018

      % Used % Important
    Recruiting experience with school 98.1% 88.4%
    Majors offered 97.8% 93.6%
    Quality of programs 96.8% 85.4%
    Location of school 96.8% 81.4%
    Reputation of school 94.5% 62.0%
    Diversity of student body 90.9% 74.9%
    College/university ranking 86.4% 50.8%
    Interest of school’s graduates in your organization 84.6% 56.9%
    Success of school’s alumni in your organization 83.8% 55.8%
    Accreditation of school 83.4% 75.1%
    Helpfulness of career services staff 81.2% 48.6%
    Executives are alumni of school 79.2% 28.6%
    Retention history of school’s graduates 72.9% 58.3%
    Size of school 67.1% 22.4%
    Source: 2018 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers