How To Hire Summer Interns: Create A Successful Internship Program At Your Company

How To Hire Summer Interns: Create A Successful Internship Program At Your Company

Thinking about hiring summer interns? A good internship program is a win-win. The interns can apply their schooling in a real world environment. They can start networking with professionals in their chosen industry. You can establish relationships with potential future hires. The managers that supervise the interns can improve training and mentoring skills.

What Is An Internship?

An internship is a structured learning experience for a college student. Internships typically last three months and may be part-time or full-time. Interns may be paid a wage or earn course credit. Unpaid internships are becoming less common in the United States. This is because employment laws require that interns be paid a wage in most situations.

An intern is closely supervised by a professional who is working in the field. An internship should increase professional and academic experience. It should develop hard and soft skills. It may lead to future employment with the company.

As a structured program, it should have specific educational goals, a timeline for completion, and performance benchmarks.

It’s important to understand that summer interns are not temps or volunteers.

How Can Summer Interns Benefit Your Company?

An internship program can be a key component of your long-term hiring strategy. Hiring summer interns allows you to evaluate potential future employees. And you’ll have extra hands without a long-term commitment. They can help you sustain productivity while your employees are taking vacations.

Interns shake things up with a fresh perspective. They bring energy and enthusiasm. You can learn from them as well. They possess the latest academic knowledge in your field.

How Do You Create An Internship Program?

Find meaningful projects that are sufficiently challenging. Don’t relegate the intern to hours of filing or similar tasks. Colleges advise that busy work be limited to less than twenty percent of work hours.

Determine needs: Which teams need help? What specific projects will the interns work on? What are the timelines for the projects?

Remember that you are selling your company. If you find a potential superstar, they aren’t going to be impressed with running errands. Or an unstructured program. The point is for the intern to have a trial run of an actual job role in their field of study. If you have weeks of filing that needs to get done, a temp would be a better choice.

Train Intern Supervisors

Decide who will supervise the interns. Make sure they understand what’s required. Document this as part of your overall internship program. You probably want an additional person to evaluate the interns’ performance.

Beware of Unpaid Internships

Unpaid internships have strict legal requirements. It’s better to pay your interns. Besides, there is stiff competition for top candidates. Even if you meet the requirements for an unpaid position, you may not have any applicants.

Identify Schools And Apply

Decide which schools you want to source from. Contact the careers offices for the necessary forms and requirements. You may have missed the deadline for this summer, but you will be prepared for next year.

Creating Job Descriptions For Intern Positions

Even though it’s a temporary stint, a good job description is essential. An internship program is only successful if you find the right interns. As with all positions, create a highly detailed description. Specify the length of assignment and total number of hours per week.

Don’t neglect to include the negative factors. If the schedule is not flexible, for example. If there are surprises, the intern may quit early. Then it will have been a waste of time and money for everyone involved. It will also reflect poorly on your company.

List the documentation required for application. You may want a transcript in addition to a resume.

ApplicantStack Simplifies Internship Programs

ApplicantStack has tools that make it easy to hire summer interns.

Interns expect efficient, mobile-friendly job application processes. Remember, today’s college students grew up performing every conceivable task with their smartphone. You can’t compete for top intern talent if you have an outdated recruiting interface.

If you haven’t automated your hiring processes, there’s never been a better time. Cloud-based systems like ApplicantStack Recruit are easy to use and set up. They are not only affordable, they provide an ongoing ROI comparable to other top business software.

How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series: Hiring Your Perfect Employee

How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series: Hiring Your Perfect Employee

This is the final post in our How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide.

In today’s post, we describe how to hire with ApplicantStack. Hiring is the hand-off point between the applicant tracking process and the onboarding workflow.

Before we continue, let’s review where we are in the process:

  • Create a Job Description
  • Prescreening Preparation
  • Post Job to Job Boards
  • Candidate Scoring
  • Schedule Interviews
  • Collect Team Feedback
  • Making a Selection
  • Extending a Job Offer
  • Hiring Your Perfect Next Employee

Hiring simply means the applicant accepted your offer of employment. They are now a lucky member of your team. Congratulations!

From Job Description to Hire With ApplicantStack Applicant Tracking Software

First, we created a precise job description.  We performed prescreening preparation by defining scoring criteria. As part of this process, we created a filtering questionnaire. The questionnaire included knockout questions that eliminated a slew of candidates before we wasted any time evaluating them.

After that, we posted the job to job boards, social media, and our careers page. The applications started coming in. ApplicantStack gathered the applicants into a database. We could see how many we had in real time. We could see which job board each applicant came from. The system filtered and sorted the applicants based on our criteria. Note that we hadn’t read even one resume at that point.

Automated Applicant Scoring

ApplicantStack scored each applicant and ordered them by their scores. We could see our top candidates throughout the process.

Have you noticed that we haven’t done any manual data entry? Each applicant entered their information in the initial application. ApplicantStack imported the data into the candidate profile and everywhere else it needed to go.

Applicant Communications

ApplicantStack has been communicating with each applicant throughout the process using email templates we created. Each applicant knew exactly when their application was received. If they were knocked out during the questionnaire, the system sent them a prompt, tactful notification.

After that, ApplicantStack simplified scheduling interviews. Our hiring team conducted the interviews. We gathered hiring team feedback.

ApplicantStack Helped Us Find The Perfect Employee

Then, we made a hiring selection with confidence. Just to be sure, we confirmed our decision with background and reference checks. Then we sent a professional, branded offer letter.

ApplicantStack Ensured a Successful Hiring Decision

Our perfect next employee accepted our offer! This is what we do in the ApplicantStack dashboard for this step:

You can celebrate now!

But not for long. You’ve got a lot of work to do.

This transition is the first step in the onboarding process. It’s vital to communicate next steps effectively.

Why Onboarding Can Make or Break Your Company

Why is it essential to get the handoff from hire to onboarding right?

The quality of onboarding influences everything that comes next.

If your hiring process was effective, your new hire starts with high expectations. They are eager to dive in. Effective onboarding meets the expectations of an employee who experienced an exceptional recruiting process.

Good onboarding:

  1. Is structured
  2. Is personal
  3. Establishes loyalty
  4. Helps the new hire be successful
  5. Improves collective team morale

What is Poor Onboarding?

There is an epidemic of poor onboarding in companies of all shapes and sizes. Read through these and see if they sound familiar.

  • The new hire enters an atmosphere of confusion or apathy
  • No one takes ownership of the onboarding process
  • The process is impersonal
  • HR bombards the new hire with paperwork
  • The manager doesn’t communicate expectations
  • The new hire doesn’t receive enough training

When a new hire experiences haphazard onboarding, they start questioning their decision to take the job. They wonder if they have a future at your company. This belief can be impossible to change.

U.S. Employers Don’t Take Onboarding Seriously

The Aberdeen Group (a market research firm) reports sobering statistics about the state of onboarding:

  • 31% of workers have quit a job after less than 6 months
  • 53% of employees said they could do their job better with improved training
  • Only 32% of employers have a formal onboarding program
  • 56% of self-labeled ‘disengaged’ employees said they got poor training or no training at all
  • 17.5% of employees said they didn’t understand what was expected of them until they had worked 90 days or more

Distinguish Your Company With First-Class Onboarding

The good news? The overall sad state of onboarding presents an opportunity for you. You can create a superior onboarding process with SwipeClock WorkforceHUB. WorkforceHUB is a unified Human Resources portal that manages the entire employee life cycle.

Exceptional onboarding will be an important competitive advantage. Your secret weapon for business success. The benefits will compound over time.

Thanks For Your Interest in SwipeClock ApplicantStack

We hope you have enjoyed our series How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide.

We are working on our next Human Resources series: How To Onboard Your Perfect Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide. It will also include a comprehensive whitepaper, videos, blog posts, and a handy infographic.

Take a look at this entire series as an infographic!

New Employee Onboarding Checklist for 2019

New Employee Onboarding Checklist for 2019

Onboarding a new employee can be quite challenging and time-consuming.  Every phase of the employee onboarding process is important, so make sure to have a new hire checklist to onboard your new employee.  You can use the following outline as a guide, however, every organization will have its own unique requirements.  These tasks will need to be adjusted for the type of employment (full time, part time, seasonal), but having an initial, general list will provide a good starting point for different positions.  We have outlined a new employee onboarding checklist to make it less daunting.

Step 1:

Create a list of tasks that new employees will need to complete and that current team members will need to work on/setup prior to the new employees first day.  Example tasks to put on new hire checklist could include, but are not limited to:

Prepare any State & Federal tax forms that need to be completed.  Some of these forms might require input from multiple individuals.  Having a system in place where these can be created and completed online can save time and resources.  The ability to upload these forms form a library can be beneficial to any busy HR professional.

Prepare any job-related forms that will need to be completed and/or signed by the employee or current team member.  Having a system in place to easily upload and create fillable forms can make this task much easier.

Gather any health insurance forms and benefits information

Identify any computer or other peripheral needs that need to be set up prior to the employee arriving on the first-day

Order any technology equipment

Order phone and create new extension

Obtain a new photo ID

Order business cards

Order any materials/supplies needed by the new employee

Make any arrangements for parking/transportation

Add new employee to relevant email lists

Identify any socialization tasks such as a tour of facilities or welcome lunch/meeting

Step 2:

Put together any supporting documents and links to any videos.  These should be items that do not require any input or signatures.  Example supporting documents might be included on a new hire checklist include, but are not limited to:

Welcome message for new employees

Contact namesNew Hire checklist - library

Phone/extension list

Any training material or videos that will need to be watched

Benefit packages to review


Step 3:

Assign tasks from the new employee onboarding checklist to current team members and new hires.  An automated process for task reminders is an invaluable tool.  Having the ability to set deadlines with reminders will ensure that the tasks will get done.  It is also helpful to be able to visually see the progress indicators that show any outstanding tasks.

Assign all tasks to any relevant person with a due datenew hire checklist - checklist

Order assignments according to time needed to complete tasks and dependencies between tasks

Create email remainders

Monitor completion of tasks on the new hire checklist

Step 4:

Establish clear communication with the new hire.  Having an employee portal to facilitate the new hire checklist can make this much easier.  An employee portal can be viewed as their own virtual assistant that can help the onboarding process run smoothly.  Here are some items to include when using a portal:

Their manager’s contact information

List of tasks from the new hire checklist

Any materials that they need to review and/or sign (from Steps 1 & 2) A progress indicator and list of deadlines to help the new hire complete all the tasks

Step 5:

Review your plan and make the necessary tweaks for the next employee.  Don’t assume that one new hire checklist is going to fit all employees!  Luckily fully-automated tools such as ApplicantStack Onboard allow for on the fly updates and customizations.

Ready to implement your new employee onboarding checklist? Download a copy of our checklist here:

New Employee Onboarding Checklist


Constantly Hiring? 4 Ways To Streamline The New Hire Process Fast

Do you need to streamline the new hire process? Are you a hiring manager with a mess on your hands?

In this Reddit forum, a hiring manager describes why her job is a nightmare.

  • No recruiting software
  • High turnover
  • Constant onboarding
    • Daily new hires to be processed
  • Always in panic mode
  • Bosses make unrealistic demands
  • Too many priorities to get anything done

Does this sound like your job?

Crisis Intervention For New Hire Chaos

  1. Evaluate current process (or lack thereof)
  2. Identify and prioritize problems
  3. Create plan to streamline workflows
  4. Use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Assess Current Hiring Practices

If your processes are manual, measuring outcomes is difficult. Where do you start? Right here:

Get feedback from:

  • Recruiters
  • Team leads

Calculate time-to-hire:

  • Measure time from job posting to acceptance
  • Break down total duration by each step
  • Identify bottlenecks

Calculate staff turnover rate

The turnover rate is defined as the number of employees you must replace in a specified time frame. Depending on the size of your staff, calculate by month, quarter, or year.

Compare your rate to the average for your industry and geographic area on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. Hard numbers give you insight. If your industry has an especially high turnover rate, you can take comfort that others are fighting the same battle. If you are an outlier, it means your processes are making a bad situation worse.

If you have an ATS, look at your analytics. Run reports for everything. Even those that don’t seem directly related. You may learn something new.

Gather your information and figure out what’s going right or wrong. Create a plan for fixing the problems. These steps will help:

Improve Job Descriptions

If you aren’t getting qualified applicants, fix your job descriptions.

Start with the jobs that attract the most unqualified applicants. These job descriptions need to be better defined. Consult with the hiring team members listed in step one.

All job descriptions should have:

  1. Starting date range
  2. Salary range
  3. Benefits and perks
  4. Required skills and experience
  5. Ideal skills and experience
  6. Hiring manager contact information (a real person)
  7. What does the position require on a daily/weekly basis?
  8. Timeline for the hiring process

Many companies don’t include the last two. Add these to your descriptions and differentiate your company. The posting will start performing better.

Check References Before Scheduling Interviews

If you check references after interviewing, you are wasting time. Reference checks are an important filter. If checking references takes too long, make it easier for references to contact you. Give them several avenues: email, phone call, snail mail a letter of reference.

Filter Candidates Faster

You need technology to speed this up. Especially if your workload is ridiculous. Use an ATS to filter applications quickly. You won’t need to read any resumes until the applicant pool is narrowed down.

How you speed up filtering with an ATS:

  • Create a database of all applicants
  • Track where each applicant is in the process
  • Create tasks with reminders
  • Auto emails
    • Email templates
  • Store and manage job postings
  • Application filtering
    • Create questionnaires with knockout questions
  • Integrate with background check company (if you outsource background checks)
  • Structured interviewing questions


Applicant tracking systems with onboarding bring the same efficiency once the candidate accepts the job offer. Managing it with an ATS is called structured onboarding.

  • When hired—simply change status—no need to enter everything again
  • New hires fill out initial paperwork online
    • They can access it from a mobile device
    • They can do it before their first day (you have to pay them for their time)

How To Convince Your Boss That An ATS Is An Absolute Necessity

ApplicantStack recruiting solutions were designed to clean up the new hire mess. With ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard, you can tame the chaos at your company. Plus, your new hires will stay with your company longer.

Help your boss understand how ApplicantStack Recruit works and how it will pay for itself:

ApplicantStack Recruit Product Walkthrough

ApplicantStack Cost-Per-Hire Calculator

Can My Company Afford an Applicant Tracking System?



What Are Human Resources Techniques For Keeping The Best Employees?

What Are Human Resources Techniques For Keeping The Best Employees?

What are human resources techniques for keeping the best employees?

  1. Improve your hiring practices
  2. Create a structured onboarding program
  3. Provide a career path
  4. Respond to employee feedback
  5. Review performance fairly and often
  6. Improve work/life balance
  7. Create an outstanding employee experience

Create a Strategy

In this age of job-hopping, you have to get serious about retention. A haphazard approach will fail. Develop a retention strategy and then weave it into your corporate culture.

Improve Hiring Practices

If you attract higher quality candidates, you’ll have a head start for future retention efforts. Technology and training is key. If you have the resources, hire talent acquisition specialists instead of HR generalists. They can give you a competitive edge in today’s labor market. They will also know how to use the most effective recruiting software. Pay as much attention to the candidate journey as your customer journey. A good ATS provides the best hiring experience. That leads us to our next topic: HR software.

Use Software to Shorten Your Time-to-Hire

If you aren’t using an applicant tracking system (ATS), this should be your first priority. You can’t keep good employees if you can’t hire good employees. And the best employees are hired first. You can’t hire faster without better technology.

An ATS also expands your hiring pool. Especially if your company has multiple openings at a time. ATS’ can quickly advertise on more places online. When you cast a wider net, you will have more options.

The ATS will quickly isolate the best candidates to concentrate on. You can schedule interviews for your finalists. ATS’ speed up decision making with collaboration tools.

The result? You can make an offer before your top pick is snagged by your competitor.

Write Better Job Descriptions

This is a foundational hiring process that many companies neglect. Spend time crafting highly-detailed postings. An effective job description targets the employees you need. This jumpstarts the filtering process.

Improve Your Interviews

Good interviews identify the best candidates in a systematic, non-biased way. A good interview will include the following:

  • Two-sided evaluation: let the candidate ask about your company and whether it reflects their values
  • Skill validation: make sure the candidate has the skills they list on their resume
  • Behavior assessment: ask the candidate to relate experiences that will reveal desired attributes
  • Cultural fit: use the experiences shared to decide if the applicant will thrive in your company
  • Sell your company: throughout the interview, express your corporate values and company brand
  • Structured scoring: create a system that will remove ‘gut feelings’ as a factor (Don’t eliminate an applicant based on an impression.)

Strengthen Your Employer Brand

Identify your values and mission. Solicit feedback from current employees. Make sure you are portraying an accurate picture of your corporate culture.

Read current/former employee reviews on Glassdoor and other evaluation sites. For good or ill, peer reviews are more important than company-created marketing. Use the negative feedback to fix problems.

Express your culture and values consistently across your recruitment marketing. Inspire current employees to be brand champions.

Consider Non-traditional Employees

If you are struggling to find conventional full-timers, consider non-traditional employees. Some of the best workers would rather freelance for several companies. If you need a niche skill, a contractor may provide more expertise. They’ve probably worked for similar companies in your industry. If so, you will benefit from their diverse experience. (And they may be more cost effective.)

Is there a talent shortage in your industry? Some companies hire formerly-retired employees part-time. If you need highly-educated specialists and aren’t having any luck, this may solve your problem. These so-called ‘boomerang’ employees can also serve as mentors for younger employees.

Create a Structured Onboarding Program

It’s well-documented that structured onboarding improves retention. Use an automated onboarding system to help you.

Take away the stress of the first day by telling them in advance where to park and how to clock in. An automated system can send them a welcome email with all pertinent first-day information.

Ensure their manager or someone on their team greets them at the door. Make sure everyone on their team introduces themselves the first day. Set up their workstation before they show up.

Let them complete new-hire paperwork online at their convenience. Onboarding software with e-signature simplifies this.

Don’t cram everything into the first day or week. Prioritize establishing a relationship over completing processes.

Nurture Your Best Employees

Never stop asking for feedback. Train your managers to maintain communication. Especially with employees that are relatively autonomous. Make sure improving the employee experience is part of your culture.

If you have an HR portal, include an anonymous suggestion box for timid employees. As with the peer reviews discussed previously, make changes in response to negative feedback.

Provide a Career Path

If your best employees can’t advance in their career, they aren’t going to stick around. Use ongoing training and mentoring. Promote from within. Your current skilled employees are your best source of future managers and executives.

Conduct Fair Performance Reviews

Structured performance reviews are as important as structured onboarding. Make your process transparent. Keep everyone on a level playing field. Evaluate often. Train your managers on best practices. Human resources software with performance review tools can help you up your game.

Improve Work/life Balance

Schedule flexibility is as important to millennials as a decent salary. Non-traditional schedules and flexible work arrangements aren’t a zero-sum game. Flex-time and work-at-home days can boost productivity if implemented appropriately. And they improve the employee experience significantly. This, in turn, strengthens your company brand.

An automated scheduling system will help. You can easily create and manage non-traditional schedules that keep employees happy. (Without lowering productivity.)

Effective Human Resources Is Your Best Retention Strategy

The Human Resources team shapes every aspect of the employee experience. Hire the best HR professionals. Give them the technology and resources they need to execute a successful hiring and retention strategy.

ApplicantStack Human Resources Software

SwipeClock ApplicantStack provides industry-leading products that help HR professionals improve employee retention. For more information about ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard, visit ApplicantStack human resources solutions.

How to Get A Candidate To Accept Your Job Offer

How to Get A Candidate To Accept Your Job Offer

As a recruiter or hiring manager, you’re going to feel the sting of rejection throughout your career. A 2017 survey found that over 90% of recruiters had had at least one job offer rejected in the past six months. So when you’ve got a big fish on the line, how do you hook him or her? Do you know how to get someone to accept your offer?

We continue our series on the psychology of recruiting and onboarding with another powerful theory behind what makes people tick. (Learn more about how to recruit using psychology!) Social exchange theory is a collection of philosophies that identify why humans make certain decisions. At its most basic, social exchange theory posits that choices are made by weighing the costs versus the benefits. If the benefits are worth more than the costs, it’s a good choice. If not, logical people will opt for the alternative.

While commonly applied to interpersonal relationships, this theory can easily be expanded to learn more about how to get someone to accept your offer. First, look at the costs the candidate incurs. Then examine the benefits you’re offering. Will it be worth it from the candidate’s perspective?


Any choice one makes immediately excludes other options. When one door opens, several other doors close. If your candidate accepts your job offer, he or she is essentially agreeing to end the job search and devote time and energy into your company. You’ve got to make it worth it!

Remember, every candidate incurs different costs. It’s unique to each person. Consider location. If one candidate lives next door to your office building, relocation won’t be a factor. But if your top choice would need to relocate, that could be a game-changer. Does the candidate have kids who would need to adjust to new schools? The cost is even higher. You’ll need to make sure you’re offering some kind of relocation package or incentive to counteract it.

Every candidate has different priorities (although most will adhere to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.) Some see business travel as an exciting way to see the world on the company dollar – a benefit. Others might not want to leave their homes or families with such frequency, and count travel as a negative. Here are some other costs your potential new hire might be considering:

  • Commute
  • Expected workload
  • Pay cuts
  • Stress level
  • Number of hours
  • Lack of autonomy
  • Limited opportunities for promotion or career advancement, which 15% of employers cite as a reason for job offer rejection.

Want to know how to get someone to accept your offer? Find out what’s important to that person, and make sure your benefits outweigh the costs.


Your rational candidate will weigh the costs of a career move against the potential benefits. Pay is the most obvious benefit, but your company may offer other tangible or intangible perks. If you offer any of the following benefits, stress them to your candidate during the recruiting process. You want this person to have as much information about the benefits you have to offer before he or she makes a decision!

  • Retirement plans
  • Health, dental, vision, and other insurance benefits
  • Corporate culture (if you feel it is well suited to your candidate’s personality and work style)
  • Telecommuting options
  • Education benefits like tuition reimbursement or continuing education classes
  • Bonuses, incentives, and stock options
  • Vacation time, sick leave, and paid time off
  • Access to cutting-edge technology
  • Advancement opportunities

The cost/benefit analysis is unique, and as a potential employer, you aren’t privy to what is going on inside the candidate’s head. What can you do to ensure that your offer comes up positive in the cost-benefit equation?

Talk About It

Find out what is important to your candidate. Ask what kinds of things he or she wants in an employer. It’s entirely possible that something that seems small to you – an extra week of vacation, for example, or the ability to telecommute once a week – could make all the difference. Your goal during the recruitment process shouldn’t be to get the best possible labor at the lowest possible price. That’s a great philosophy for material goods, but it doesn’t apply here. You’re not making a one-time purchase. An employee is an investment. Social exchange theory applies to your end of the bargain, too. Are the benefits you’ll get from hiring this person greater than the costs? Consider all the angles, and both the company and the candidate will win.