Recruit and Hire Interns

Finding an Intern Already Trained to Deliver: iCertified

Most employers understand, or know from experience, that interns have the potential to be a great asset to a company's success. But occasionally, an intern without the proper training or preparation is hired, and then the effectiveness of that internship may not meet expectations.

Most employers would agree that an intern who has an understanding of how to work with others, communicate professionally, who understands the need to work effectively within company culture before an internship begins is valuable. To help you find that prepared intern, internships.com has developed the Intern Certification Program (ICP) to give you a greater sense of confidence that the interns you hire will be an asset.

The Intern Certification Program (ICP) trains interns to deliver high performance by teaching them professional competencies and providing both you and the intern with performance and assessment tools to keep on track. Hiring interns that are iCertified reduces the need for your company to develop a lengthy internship orientation program, because your certified intern has already been prepared for the professional workplace.

To be iCertified, a candidate must prove they have successfully learned about the following 10 competencies.

  • Work Quality emphasizes positive attitude and workplace etiquette as well as how to track accountability.
  • Productivity teaches students how to prioritize, manage workloads and communicate clearly, especially with their supervisor. The iCertified intern has learned the importance of properly managing their time.
  • Self-Development addresses proper professional appearance and dress for both men and women. This competency also instructs new interns on how to network and conduct conversations with colleagues.
  • Effort & Initiative utilizes the strengths and behaviors of each intern to build credibility with your company. Interns identify their strengths in an Internship Predictor profile with tips to help them maximize those strengths.
  • Effective Communication reminds the intern to write and speak professionally, and to build credibility.
  • Customer Focus instructs iCertified interns to learn the business, products and customer profile at their internship site. They also learn how to be knowledgeable so employers won't have to be concerned about interns interacting with customers.
  • Job Knowledge helps the intern and the supervisor jointly set feasible goals. One of the tools we provide is an Internship Roadmap, which details how to map the right course toward meeting these goals and developing a growth plan based on the 10 competencies reviewed in our program.
  • Teamwork & Cooperation assures that the iCertified intern will collaborate with colleagues and accept responsibility for building work relationships. Employees will be comfortable asking proactive interns to take on more assignments, increasing organizational productivity.
  • Problem Solving educates the intern on the 5 Principles to Problem Solving, ranging from identifying and clarifying the problem to implementing the best solution.
  • Modeling Company Values educates the intern on the importance of learning the company values and culture. The iCertified intern has learned how to understand "how things are done," making him or her more valuable and effective.

When the internship ends, supervisors can use the Intern Performance & Development Assessment tool. The supervisor will easily be able to evaluate the intern on three levels—Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, or Needs Improvement. This document may be especially useful if your company is considering offering the intern a permanent position in the future.

Internship programs are an effective recruiting tool, saving companies from spending time and money on costly recruitment. Recent surveys report that former interns make up an average of 40% of entry level employees.

"Employers can pretest a potential employee through an internship," says Colleen Sabatino, internships.com's Chief Content Officer, "and an iCertified intern that has been pre-trained to high standards could be one of your most promising future hires."