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Eye on New Graduate Recruitment

By Mary Barefoot, HR Services Manager


Recruiting at colleges and universities for an internship or work experience program works to leverage an organization’s ability to recruit more new graduates.  According to’s 2015 U.S. Intern & New Grad Hiring & Compensation Report, 70% of companies attribute their ability to compete against other employers for new graduates to both college/university recruitment and internship/student work programs. 


Having an active on-campus recruitment strategy and student work program however does not always translate into successful competition for young talent. also looked at pay and perks offered to interns to further gauge what constitutes a competitive program.  One point of consideration for organizations is what to pay; while the experience matters, the pay does too.  Over 70% of companies stated pay rates for interns are not negotiable and the average rate per hour was $13.60.


Additionally, organizations might consider the opportunities offered to interns during their experience. Eighty percent of companies offered formal orientation programs. Some 65% have structured networking opportunities in place with other interns and 58% have structured networking opportunities with management. Career development training was also offered by 48% of companies.  These opportunities are worthwhile investments for the potential hires and speak to the organizations culture and values.


The big question however is how many of the interns recruited and hired are ultimately retained by the organization. Of the companies retaining interns for full-time hire, 62% estimated they retained between 11 and 50% of eligible interns, and 11% estimated they retained more than 50% since the inception of the program.  Companies were also asked to estimate the percentage of eligible interns which were extended a full-time offer for the current year, either formally or informally. Nearly 20% of companies extended full-time offers to greater than 50% of eligible interns.


There is also proof that organizations value a new graduate hire with internship/student work experience.  Forty-two percent of companies reported that 91%+ of the new graduates hired had previous internship experience.  Surprisingly, a new graduate’s GPA may not always be evaluated as part of the hiring process.  Close to half of the companies (46%) said applicant GPAs were sometimes evaluated and 12% said they were not.


To learn more about’s 2015 Intern & New Grad Hiring & Compensation Report email