Talented interns have been integral to the growth of my company. Engaged millennials help me and my employees better target Generation Z and help create a positive work environment for the whole team. In addition, talented interns provide an organic hiring pool of experienced and trustworthy employees that are determined to help grow the company.
As many fellow small business owners know, however, finding top talent can be difficult and expensive. Hiring agencies and related services can be expensive, and as a fledgling company it is often impossible to dedicate enough time and money to recruit on my own.
By utilizing emerging technology, it is becoming cheaper than ever for small businesses to recruit and retain top talent via the variety of new networks millennials are connected to. Here are my four tips for finding and securing talented interns.
1. Social media.
One of the easiest and most effective methods of recruiting talent I have used is social media to both recruit and attract talent to my company. Social networks provide free and easy-to-use resources for searching for the perfect fit for an internship.
Professional networks like LinkedIn allow for easy access to resumes and contacts of thousands of talented candidates from across the country without the need to spend on recruiting agencies. In addition, less formal social networks like Facebook and Twitter can also serve as great platforms to promote your company and opportunities you have available. With Generation Z making up the upcoming generation of interns, it is important to maintain a presence on these sites in order to attract new talent.
“One of the most important guidelines when making and using social media as a means of talent recruitment is to make sure that that your online profiles are professional,” says Thomas Jones of ViralRace. “Maintaining an attractive and easy-to-follow social media presence is incredibly important to retaining top talent.”
Unprofessionalism on these platforms can be a major turn-off for potential talent who desire work at a serious company.
2. Highlighting existing talent.
Another one of the techniques found most successful is probably the easiest: tap into your existing workforce and highlight who works for you and why they love their job. Employees who are passionate and love their work provide some of the best marketing for your company as many millennials are looking specifically for employers of choice. Talent interested in your industry will also gravitate towards working with passionate and interesting employees.
On the contrary, potential interns may be turned off by an opportunity if they cannot see who they will be working with. Pushing employee testimonies and bios through social media channels and your website provide free and effective marketing to top talent to answer the question of why they would want to work for your company.
3. The blockchain.
The rise of blockchain technology has brought with it a myriad of innovations in all sorts of technologies. The applications of the ledger-based, decentralized system reach far beyond the cryptocurrencies that cover the news. Blockchain technology is able to track identity, data, and commitments of students around the world and provide potential employers with elegant solutions to sort through potential internship candidates.
Startups in this industry allow for easy and cheap access to data sets that would normally be out of the reach of small business owners. While blockchain companies invested in academia streamline much more than talent search, I have found these platforms to be incredibly useful for growing companies lacking the time and money necessary to perform the same actions through traditional channels.
4. Maintain frequent contact with interested talent.
Something that I believe is much overlooked in the process for hiring talented interns is retaining the talent you’ve worked so hard to find. Keeping potential internship candidates engaged with your company will result in a much higher yield of top talent than minimal contact potential interns usually receive from companies.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to enable access for your potential interns to information about the company. Inviting them to the company newsletter or drawing up a special, small newsletter for applicants to your company.
As it becomes easier for Generation Z to apply to jobs, it is important that your company is able to keep their attention in a flurry of other applications. Allowing this kind of access to information regarding your company will also better prepare talent for entering your workspace and engage them more in the goals of your company.
By utilizing all of these tips, I have been able to successfully find and recruit talented interns with ease, even as a small business owner. By utilizing emerging technologies, keeping an internet profile attractive to millennials, and maintaining contact with potential interns, searching for top talent can be both easy and efficient, even for small businesses.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.