The NetworkQC, i.network video
There’s a saying in business, “It’s easier to keep your current customers than it is to attract new ones.” The same is true in workforce/talent development; it is more cost-effective to focus on retaining the young talent already living, studying, and working in your city than to convince new migrants to relocate to your city.
With this in mind we are seeing a huge shift in the conversation of “brain drain” one that has been focused on young professionals currently in the workforce to one that is focused on “emerging” professionals - soon to be college grads - yet to reach the workforce.
Most of us live in a city that produces hundreds to thousands of college graduates each year. And most of us live in a city where college graduates may be our a biggest export.
So, how can YP Orgs help their cities battle brain drain among soon to be college graduates?
Students who have internship and co-op experiences while studying in your city are more likely to stay in the area and have higher employee retention rates. Almost 50 percent of internship students accept permanent positions with their internship employers. The retention of college graduates after 5 years of employment is 30% greater for internship graduates. Take a look at how Tulsa’s Young Professionals are promoting Tulsa as a place for interns: InterninTulsa.com
However, keep in mind that an intern’s experience, while in your city, needs to go beyond discovering good restaurants, festivals, and cool places to live. It’s important to provide interns opportunities for interaction not only amongst other interns but with other like-minded people in the community so they make connections to the community.
The Network: Young Professionals of the Quad Cities, set it’s eyes on connecting interns to the community in a more thoughtful way two years ago with the creation of their “i.network” program.
“The goal of the i.network program is to introduce college students to the Quad Cities quality of life beyond the four walls of their workplace” states Anne Spoden, Director of The Network. “We want to see an increase in the thickness and depth of the roots that Quad Cities’ interns establish in the community, ultimately increasing their likelihood of returning for permanent employment after graduation.”
Click here to check out the i.network video.
In its first two years, i.network involved more than 150 interns who spent their summer working for a variety of Quad-City companies. The program is offered at no cost to employers, who are encouraged to involve their interns. The first year’s participants represented 16 states and 12 colleges as well as some native Quad-Citians.
At the programs conclusion, 97% of participants indicated they will consider the Quad Cities as place to call home following graduation.
Bottomline? Creating ways for interns to form connections in your community not only impacts your city's growth, but also the sustainability of your YP Org by offering a larger ROI for your employer stakeholders.