Applicant Tracking Source Internship Candidates

How to Use Applicant Tracking Software to Source Internship Candidates

It’s that time of the year…the grass is green, the birds are chirping, and many new faces are popping up as potential employees (and perhaps as new LinkedIn followers) for your organization as students dive full throttle into the internship search process.

Let’s say you are pretty satisfied with the questions asked on your employment application, and it helps you capture appropriate, job-relevant information from experienced job seekers and recent college graduates. But is the same application appropriate for your potential internship applicants? Will these interns-to-be take the time to complete the whole application thoughtfully? What will they think when they get to questions like “please list all applicable licenses and certifications,” etc.? They probably don’t yet possess such credentials and might abandon the effort to complete the application thinking it won’t result in any employment fruits for their labor.

With this scenario in mind, how do you customize your applicant tracking software to engage potential interns to apply and capture the right type of information on the internship employment application? Here are some tips:

  1. Create a link dedicated to internship opportunities on your ATS site’s landing page. By specifically calling out your organization’s focus on internship opportunities, you are establishing credibility and making it easy for students to navigate your careers page.
  2. Establish a secondary employment application dedicated to internship applicants and/or recent college grads. This version will likely be shorter than your regular application (i.e. not as much room will be necessary for previous employers, certification listings, etc.), and you may use it to capture student-focused information such as: school and permanent home address, extracurricular activities, and expected graduation date.
  3. When posting job listings, make sure one of your available employment types is “internship.” When sorting through available jobs, students may quickly hone in on the positions relevant to them. NOTE: Take it a step further and give students a direct link to your job listings already filtered down to available internships only. This can easily by placing some strategic hyperlinks on your “Internship Opportunities” page (see tip #1 above).
  4. Be sure and include specific information about the compensation, benefits, hours and responsibilities associated with the internship when crafting the job listing within your applicant tracking system. It is important for employers to take care in determining whether an internship will be a paid position, stipend, or unpaid. There are very specific rules to follow in order for an internship to be eligible to be unpaid. For more information about internship pay guidelines, visit the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division site.
  5. Take advantage of Bookmark & Share Icon links to promote your internship opportunities on social media sites – especially Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Your applicant tracking software should allow you to promote links to your listings on your own social profile pages, as well as allow applicants to easily share interesting employment options with friends.
  6. Give students (and this goes for all of your other applicants, too) the ability to sign up for automated job alerts on your careers portal. They may not be in the market for your specific internship opportunity this semester, but if they receive an email alert with new open opportunities the next time you post, it will be easier for them to apply sooner in your selection process.

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