Employer Brand is Important for Students

  | January 21, 2014

The spring semester is just getting started, and with that, students begin to plan for the summer break or entering the post-graduation “real world.” So the spring semester becomes the opportunity for companies to reach out through career fairs and other recruitment sources to attract the best students for jobs or internships.

Organizations around the world are realizing the benefits of creating a positive employer brand in order to recruit talent, and this strategy should include university relations and recruiting as well. To get the most value from hiring recent graduates and bringing in summer interns, university recruiters must identify students who will become true assets.

An internship program should ideally serve both the employer and the intern. For the company, an intern can provide new perspectives from an outside source without the monetary investment of a full-time, long-term employee. For students, an internship provides a valuable resume-builder and networking opportunity, allowing them to gain real-world experience to leverage with future employers post-graduation. They may even expect the potential to transition into a full-time role with the same company providing the internship opportunity.

Either way, in order to make an intern a valuable commodity within the company, the role must meaningfully engage the student. Investing in the internship experience will create greater return by properly utilizing the students selected into the program as well as attracting top talent in the future.

An InternMatch quarterly report details some of the top attractors of talented interns, as well as their expectations of the role once they arrive. Among the most popular perks to get talented interns to choose a particular program are “access to executives and mentorship” and “flexible hours.” Among their desires for the experience of the internship are “the chance to do real work,” “training,” and of course, “better pay.”

The real takeaway from these statistics is that interns want to feel useful within their role instead of being the dedicated coffee-fetcher. They also want the internship to benefit them personally by adding to their resume as well as their bank account.

To an employer, this means that, in order to make your internship program useful to you and appealing to potential candidates, a company must build a positive employer brand and culture to sell to applicants.

Some companies take extreme measures to promote their employer brand. Everyone knows about Google’s fun work environment with high-quality food in-house, toys and games in the break room, skateboarding employees, and overall laid-back attitude. By giving virtual tours and interviewing employees about why they love to work at Google, the company is able to attract great talent simply by being the company that people want to work for. But despite their massive social media presence and virtual ubiquity, they still promote their employer brand through every channel possible. The Internship, the 2013 comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, promotes their brand even further by giving an inside look at the Google campus and corporate culture.

Realistically, not every company has the resources or reach to host a feature-film detailing their corporate culture, but simple things can sway a talented potential intern to choose a particular program over another. At some point, the applicant must transition from being sourced (through university relations and recruiting, social media branding efforts, etc.) to actually applying to the program, going through the screening process, and choosing from available offers. These points create fantastic opportunities to reinforce the employer brand and give a company the edge in attracting top talent.

Simple touches can go a long way. Maybe a student has connected to a recruiter at a career fair and wishes to apply for an internship. That student should be greeted with an easy-to-use, mobile-compatible, and engaging website that guides him/her through the application process. The job/internship portal should include relevant content that reinforces the brand and creates a lasting impression throughout the process. Something as simple as a short video of current employees or past interns can show a top-quality prospective applicant real reasons to further his/her relationship with the company.

The screening process itself can and should be a part of any employer branding initiative, as well. By including flexible scheduling options for the candidates during screening, top talent will have a better experience through the process and be more likely to accept an offer. And if the screening process includes a step such as a pre-employment assessment or a pre-recorded video interview, that step should be branded and personalized as well. With the InterviewStream video interviewing platform, for example, companies can include a welcome video that delivers similar content to the jobs portal such as the perspective of current or former interns, and the reasons why they enjoyed working with this employer.

The most talented students are going to participate in the internship program they find most suitable to their needs while becoming a valuable asset for the company. By promoting the employer brand through the recruiting and screening process, smart companies can attract the best talent.

Want to learn more about how video interviewing can enhance your employer brand and attract more top talent to your company? Contact one of our Video Technology Consultants today for a fun 20-minute demo.


interviewstream is dedicated to the success of more than 900 clients from K-12 school districts, emerging businesses, midsize companies, large enterprises, colleges, and universities.

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