How Do We Love Our Interns? In These 6 Ways

February 13, 2013

At LinkedIn we sure do love our interns. Amazingly, our campus recruiting program didn’t exist three years ago, but we’ve been able to scale it rapidly and score major successes since we launched, including convincing around 85 percent of interns who receive offers to accept them.

We attribute our approval ratings to several things, all of which essentially fall into the category of showing our interns just how much we care.

  • Our tightly knit intern community starts with an online LinkedIn Group where they begin to bond with one another, discussing issues such as housing and local attractions. When they arrive, we have a dedicated intern lunch table that employees stop by to chat. And there’s an emerging tradition of the annual "surprise" in which interns choose something to do together to make a lasting impression on the company. (Here’s an example of the tough act that the Class of 2013 have to follow).
  • The interns' rapport with our recruiting team makes them feel they have mentors outside of their formal jobs; someone on their side who is interested in their well-being.
  • Our broader teams take great care of our interns, immediately absorbing them in as members of the team. They are not "interns" - they are simply new members of the team.
  • Our executives take precious time out to speak to all the classes. Their great dedication and interest in the program speaks volumes to program participants about our serious commitment to entry-level talent.
  • We build a culture of enrichment and training for our students. We are not just filling positions or looking at interns as short-term help.   We treat them as much like a full-time employee as possible by giving them meaty, meaningful projects that are on the roadmap- not projects that will never see the light of day. Our most common reaction from interns during their first week is, "I can't believe you guys trust me with this project!  I’m amazed that I'll get to learn from and contribute to this!"
  • We select intern mentors who are willing to teach and impart knowledge, and that they understand the time investment involved to properly coach and teach interns.

By showing our interns some real LinkedIn love, we’ve already secured many long-term rock stars for our business. Make sure you put a lot of heart into your internship program this season!

For more on using LinkedIn to connect with entry-level and new graduate talent, download our student data sheet.