A new survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) finds that employers are increasingly tapping their current roster of interns when looking to hire new employees.
Employers report that over one third (about 36 percent) of the new college graduates they hired in 2007 came from their own internship programs. Interns from the graduating class of 2005 accounted for 30 percent of these hires. The survey also found that employers plan to increase the number of interns in their programs this year by 3.7 percent.
In a press release announcing the results of NACE's 2008 Experiential Education Survey, NACE executive director Marilyn Mackes noted that "more interns are getting offers of full-time employment. Currently, employers say they extended job offers to nearly 70 percent of their interns; in 2001, they offered jobs to 57 percent."
Why are employers looking to their internship programs in increasing numbers? NACE says that it mainly boils down to a high level of satisfaction over the programs.
"Nearly 90 percent of employers who use their programs to hire say they are very or extremely satisfied with their interns, and employers consistently name the internship program as one of the most effective tools they have for hiring new college graduates," Mackes explained. "Employers see results with these programs."
And NACE offered another finding that may encourage employers to hire from its internship program with even greater frequency--results showed that interns who became full-time hires were more likely to stick with the employer than their co-workers who didn't go through the employer's internship program: Over 37 percent of employers said retention among former interns was higher in the first year of hire, and nearly 49 percent reported that former interns had higher retention 5 years after hire.