Intern to New Hire: reduce Recruiting Costs by Hiring within: Intern Program Tips

A vacancy at your company can be a daunting expense. Not only do you have to worry about finding a new employee with the appropriate skill set who fits into the company culture, but the numbers alone for recruiting and hiring a new employee can be prohibitive.

A recent survey, conducted jointly by the Employment Management Association and the Society for Human Resources, of 636 professionals, looked at the cost of hiring a new employee. The solution for avoiding the high numbers you might face finding and hiring a brand new employee—convert an intern.

Hiring an intern already engaged in your company offers many benefits. An internship program will provide your company with an ongoing supply of employees who are already familiar with the job. And you will benefit from forgoing the recruitment period because you have ready access to candidates who have proven their skill, dedication, and ability to understand company culture.

The following statistics, gathered from the Cost Per Hire survey done by EMA and SHRM, offer insight into the greatest expenses associated with the hiring/recruiting period. The percentages are followed by a suggestion for reducing those costs by transforming an intern into a new hire.

  • Advertising and event costs (76%) – Converting an intern to a full-time hire means no expensive job listings in newspapers or journals
  • Internet services (63%) – Reduce fees needed for individual job postings
  • Third-party agency contract and fees (52%) – Unnecessary cost if hiring from within
  • Referral bonus costs (49%) -- Reduce staff time spent at job fairs, preparing job ads, resume review, interview time, phone pre-screens. These are just a few of the places your staff will save time and effort by hiring from a current intern pool.
  • Signing bonus (37%) -- No need to pay a signing bonus if you are converting an intern to a full-time employee. Also, employers report that salaries tend to be lower when hiring a current intern.
  • Technology-based hiring management (19%) – The Internet has increased the number of resumes submitted for positions. Reduce the time spent sorting, reviewing and organizing the paperwork by converting an intern to a new hire.

SHRM surveys report that exempt positions are at $6,943 CpH (Cost Per Hire). Non-exempt positions are reported at $2,546 per hire. And CpH for high skills range from $9,777 to $19,219. Overall, it is reported that companies typically spend $10,000 - $50,000 in tangible costs alone to replace and retrain when a single employee leaves the company.

Recruiting and hiring is a large expense for a company of any size. Converting an intern to a new hire is worth it if you are just looking at these numbers, but when reviewing all of the mutually beneficial aspects of the conversion it’s an excellent solution. Whether you start by hiring one intern and vet new candidates by reviewing their performance in this role, or develop an intern program that gives you access to multiple employees, all of whom have been given the opportunity to prove their worth, it’s an obvious solution to finding and hiring the perfect employee at a low cost.