In today’s ever-changing labor market, companies need smart workforce strategies to maintain a competitive edge, and studies show internships can contribute to a company’s bottom line.

Retention rates are a major concern for employers across sectors. The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) 2017 Internship and Co-op Survey reported that at the one-year mark:

  • The retention rate for hires who had an internship with the hiring organization was 65.5%.
  • The rate for hires who had other internship experiences was 52%.
  • For hires with no internship experience, the retention rate was 46.2%.

Employee Benefit News (EBN) reports it costs employers 33% of a worker’s annual salary to hire a replacement when that worker leaves. That’s about  $15,000 per person for an employee earning a median annual salary of $45,000, according to the Work Institute’s 2017 Retention Report.

You typically think of an internship as taking place at a business, but the digital age has made the virtual internship possible. In this case study, Full Capacity Marketing (FCM) partnered with the Foundation for California Community Colleges (Foundation) for support from its Career Catalyst program, a suite of services for organizations wanting to offer paid work experience. The foundation expanded its program to accommodate virtual internships, allowing FCM to hire nine interns under a contract with the Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium, a group of 14 community colleges spanning the Central and Mother Lode regions of California.