What Talent 2025 Employers are Saying About Internships

Internships are an incredibly important source of talent for employers throughout the region, the state, and the country. Despite the growing presence of partnerships between business and K-12 education, post-secondary internships are often the first link between future talent and potential employers. Because of this, internship programs are, for some companies, one of the most valuable talent attraction tools for entry-level talent. 

Many Talent 2025 member companies have established successful internship programs, and the results are clear: co-ops, summer internships, and student work opportunities often turn into full-time hires who are more fully developed for their first job. Based on the feedback from our 2017 CEO Member Census, we’ve collected some highlights of what West Michigan employers are doing when it comes to internships. 

What employers are saying

Several common features of the feedback received from our members about internships was that employers are regularly looking to hire a diverse group of paid interns, typically during the summer months, who will bring new ideas and methods to the company.  When the employer is selecting what type of internships to post, they are also looking at the long-term possibility of filling those positions with interns who have excelled upon graduation.

This becomes a benefit for both parties. The employer is able to fill an entry-level position with top talent and the intern has a full-time position upon graduation. Most employers responded that their turnover rate from intern to full-time hire is about 50%. With rates this high, employers should evaluate the company’s future growth and the possibility for implementing internship opportunities. 

What can I do with this information?

No matter the industry or size of company, there are always opportunities for employers to expand and develop a sustainable pipeline of entry-level talent through internship programs. Our Talent Attraction & Retention Working Group is focused on entry-level STEM talent, and has done significant work in learning how we can keep qualified talent in West Michigan.

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