As the spring starts signaling warm weather ahead, many students across the country are planning where they will work internships during their summer vacation. Just as students are preparing, companies should be doing the same.

A company cannot expect to turn the lights on one morning and hope that there are a handful of interns waiting at the front door to begin an assignment. It takes advanced planning and we will discuss this here. Get ready for a great summer and start planning your internships now.

Visit College Campuses

An excellent way for companies to plan for internships is to visit local college campuses. Request to set up a table in a common area or student center. Bring brochures and applications so anyone interested can apply while you are speaking with them about the opportunities available. You will be able to build a strong group of candidates for your openings from which to choose the interns who will be offered positions with your company this summer.

Determine Number of Interns Needed

Each company’s needs are different, so you need to take a long look at how many interns will be needed. Would you like at least one intern per department? If not, make a list of the departments that will need interns for the coming semester. The list should also include who the intern will report to in each department and what their responsibilities will include.

Conduct Brief Interviews

Internships should be treated like full-time jobs at your company. This means that they should not be given to just any person who applies. You should conduct interviews with each applicant based on their resume and recommendation from a professor or mentor. Even if you do not have enough candidates for a position, you should still interview them to ensure they fit your culture and have what it takes to succeed in the program.

Pick a Leader to Head up the Internship Program

Someone within your company will need to be put in charge of the internship program. This person will sift through the applications, conduct interviews, make hiring decisions and work hand-in-hand with the interns during their time with the company. Make sure this person can be trusted, has a strong work ethic, and knows what it takes to run such a program.

Work with a Temp Agency to Find Interns

If you do not have someone in-house who can run the program, or do not have the resources to recruit interns yourself, consider partnering with a temp agency to fill the program. The agency will already have candidates screened and vetted so they will simply need to figure out which ones meet your requirements and then send them your way.

It is important for companies to start planning their internship program at least a three-to-four months in advance prior to each new semester. It helps the company bring in the most talented students for the internships and ensures that there will not be any empty spots.

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