Two and a half minutes. That’s how long each job interview lasts when college students apply for an internship at Lawrence & Schiller.
While that may not seem like enough time to evaluate an applicant, those 150 seconds are repeated almost 20 times in one hour as students are interviewed, one at a time, by a variety of L&S employees from the CEO with 30 years of experience to the digital strategist with six months at the agency.
This year more than 72 students from 23 universities applied for a summer internship. Do the math and those quick 2 ½-minute sessions add up to a full four hours of interviews. It’s a significant commitment by Lawrence & Schiller — one that we don’t take lightly.
We spend so much time and effort recruiting college students because we believe interns are worth the investment, and our “speed dating” interviews in early February are the best way to secure the top students.
Hopefully you’re already working to recruit the next class of interns. If you aren’t, here are four reasons why your company should hire interns this summer.
1. Interns provide valuable insights.
By 2017, Ad Age is predicting millennials will spend $200 billion annually. The coveted demographic (currently between the ages of 17 and 34) is projected to spend $10 trillion in their lifetimes. No wonder every marketer on the planet wants to understand how to connect with millennials. Admittedly the sample size will be small, but spending the summer around millennials is a great way to learn more about their shopping habits, media consumption, motivations and more. Gaining a better understanding of millennials now will also help you later when the demographic constitutes a bigger percentage of your workforce.
2. Interns earn their keep.
At Lawrence & Schiller, interns do real work for real clients. They attend strategy sessions, contribute to brainstorming meetings, write copy, design graphics, contribute to social media campaigns, work on street teams and assist on broadcast productions. You will gain important staffing support during a season when many of your employees are taking vacations.
3. Interns play an important role in workforce development.
When global research firm Universum asked more than 65,000 undergraduates what they most want from their summer employer, more than half (51%) said a full-time job. Training (42%) and a good employer reference (29%) are next on students’ wish lists. Done right, that’s exactly what you should provide to your interns. Lawrence & Schiller currently has 70 employees. Nearly one-third started their career as an intern. Most years, one or two of our summer interns will receive an offer for full-time employment. These are interns who have spent 3+ months showing us their aptitude and attitude. We know what they can do and they understand what we expect.
4. Internships are our opportunity to give back.
Individually and corporately, we are where we are today because of the people who’ve coached and mentored us along the way. Now it’s our time to repay the favor.
Every time you let a student job shadow or tour your business or work as an intern, you’re helping prepare the next wave of the American workforce … employees who will not only staff your company but someday may also lead it.