Internships key to staff retention

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Sunaina Rana / Emirates Business

According to UAE-based portal, internship programmes are a great way to maintain the ‘talent funnel’ which benefits the corporates in reducing unemployment and enhancing work environment.
Jean–Michel Gauthier CEO deems that the corporates can avoid hiring the usual up-front and long-term costs of hiring, “Majority of interns are on student or parent visa sponsorship, allowing you to save considerably on initial administrative expenses, visa costs and long term opportunity costs. Internship programmes are great to maintain the ‘talent funnel’, making sure junior staff is trained when key positions are vacant.”
The NACE’s Internship and Co-op Annual Survey consistently shows that the majority of the employers reported higher five-year retention rate among employees they have hired via their internship programme. “The idea of traineeships and internships is still in its infancy in the Middle East and soon companies will need to realise that these programmes are integral to solving crippling workforce issues like high turnover, lack of loyalty, reduced productivity, depleted corporate culture and talent deficiency,” says Gauthier. “Employee turnover is a big, and expensive, problem for many companies. For start-ups and SMEs especially, hiring and firing can be an expensive process. To avoid recruiting unsuitable employees, internships ultimately help businesses get it right first time,” he said.
The CEO suggested that the programme helps in training and mentoring the students, which further helps in building a trusted relationship between the company and the intern. “This can only lead to a stronger talent pool,” adds Gauthier.
Since its launch in 2012, the site has helped place over 1,500 interns in 500 companies, with some interns being placed within days of InternsME receiving an employer’s request.
“Disruptive to organisational processes, interns challenge “the way we’ve always done it” mentality and bring fresh, new perspective. The intense learning environment at university are usually quicker at picking things up than a lot of seasoned candidates, therefore as long as the tasks are engaging and meaningful, hiring interns can be a low cost way to improve productivity — they expect lower stipends and are driven to prove their worth.”

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