As graduation creeps closer and closer for college students, the realization that the “real” world is just around the corner begins to sink in. The awareness of needing a job after getting the diploma hits like a ton of bricks, panic ensues, and worry infiltrates the mind. For many, the final chapters of college may seem like the ending of stress, time constraints and hard deadlines. Some see graduation as a gateway to ease or the light at the end of a tunnel that took 4+ years to get through. But if soon to be graduates do not set themselves up to strategically utilize their degree immediately post grad, some may play a long waiting game of finding the first job to start their career.

Universities put heavy emphasis on internships, co-ops and study abroad semesters. These put the student at an early advantage of building their network and gaining experience to put on their resumes. Students have opportunities to come out of college with a group of connections, potential job prospects and a list of experiences that are valid and robust. Sounds like a great plan for students, right?

But as an employer, how is offering these types of positions beneficial to you and your company? Where is the upside on your end?

College students who are actively searching for internships and co-ops are eager to learn, develop and apply the knowledge they’ve gained in their coursework. Proper development and training of an intern can extend their tenure at your company much longer than the typical 15 weeks. According to the 2017 Internship & Co-Op Report, there was a 51.3% conversion rate from an intern to a full-time hire.  Also, in the same report, there was a 51.8% five-year retention rate for interns converting to full-time hires. Another study by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) found that employers lose 16% of their intake within the first two years. Which statistic do you want to be a part of?

Developing a young, eager intern, converting them to an already well-trained full-time employee post-grad, and cutting turnover risk and costs? Start writing the job description and begin the recruitment process. By offering internships and co-ops you show students that you place value in developing the future generation that will be walking through the doors of your business and running the day to day operations. Training for high level performance can begin even at the barest of rankings, including interns. You never know, your future intern might just turn out to be your successor.