Building an Early Talent Strategy Using Data and other Digital Tools
The Fifth Annual Cleveland Internship Summit was February 27, 2020 at Corporate College East attended by more than 200 business, community, and education representatives. Throughout the year, we will be bringing you highlights covered during the event. Today’s recap focuses on some of the tools and technology that local employers, with robust internship programs, are using to manage their processes.
A Google search asking for “tools to use for recruiting and hiring interns” will give thousands of results. This can be a daunting process for employers looking to change or upgrade how they manage their talent programs. As an internship or talent development program grows, there is likely an opportunity for streamlining processes for more efficiency and better results. During the session, “Building an Early Talent Strategy Using Data and other Digital Tools,” the panelists shared how their companies manage very robust programs using a variety of tools and technology. One theme that emerged early in the conversation is that size of the company and internship program, does not necessarily mean they use the latest and greatest, most expensive technology, sometimes simple is better.
The session featured Sara Benjamin with Trimble (moderator), Danielle Levy with PNC, and Kristen Kerestman with Avery Dennison. Both Danielle and Kristen communicated that their internship programs are one of the primary pipelines for hiring early talent. Both companies have goals to convert interns to full-time hires and both agree that full-time hires that come from their intern class have higher retention rates and tend to advance more in the organization.
When it comes to metrics, both companies are tracking all or some of the following as part of their internship strategy:
- Conversion from interns to full-time
- Promotion rates and movement across organization
- Retention rates
- How a candidate may fit in with their culture
- Majors and degrees
- Offer rates
- Acceptance rates
- How they connected with the student, i.e., job board,campus interview, etc.
Both panelists agree there is no unicorn system that fits perfectly with their talent strategy. They have selected solutions that work for their companies and include some of the following:
- Good old-fashioned spreadsheets – sometimes you do not need a complex system for tracking more basic metrics
- Workday – A human resources and financial management software system
- Yello – A talent acquisition software and recruitment CRM system
- HireVue – An online video interviewing software and pre-employment assessments platform
- Google Tools – Their GSuite platform has HR software solutions for businesses
- Textio – An augmented writing enhancement service that helps with job descriptions
- Tradify – A job management software designed for service and trade businesses
Of course, the software solutions and platforms used by these companies will not work for every company. The consensus from the panelists is that it is critical to have a talent strategy and identify how internship programs fit as part of that strategy. It is also essential to understand what your company is trying to measure in terms of internships and other early talent programs.
The subject of tools and technology can be complicated and not all employers have the resources to get the latest and greatest. Fortunately, the latest and greatest is not needed to be successful. The session concluded with the panelists and attendees sharing the following advice:
- Do a lot research and due diligence, make sure the tools you use suit your unique needs.
- Look into the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), part of the National Center for Education Statistics. This “Use the Data” tool allows you to plug in your data needs and will provide free, clean data reports.
- American Society for Engineering Education produces an enrollment report each year (by university) for tech recruiters.
Want to know more about internship best practices? Visit the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Internship Central hub to learn more about how to build a best-in-class internship program at your business.