Is Your Corporate Intern Program Google Friendly?

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Students are constantly told to maintain a professional presence online, but do you?

Employer Brands Make Company’s Google Friendly

While, it’s a well-known fact that most employers Google search applicants before making an offer (in fact over 75% do), what is less known is that almost every student Google searches YOU before applying!  And what a student finds can make or break their decision to apply.  Called employer brand many companies are building an online presence using social media profiles, blogs, and in other communities to make the job seeker Google search before they apply, interview, or begin their job easier. What happens when a student Google searches “internships + your company name” is becoming increasingly important for a few reasons:

  • Students now spend far more time online then watching TV.  They Google everything, from homework to internships  and many are forgoing career fairs to learn about companies and opportunities where they are more comfortable, online.
  • Students are new to the job search world.  Oftentimes, when a student is applying online it is the first time they are learning about your company. Ultimately, what they find during a Google search may be their first and most important impression of your company.
  • Students are used to sites like Pinterest and Twitter, that allow them to login with a single click and offer a design that is intuitive and seamless.  This is a tough bar to work against for most career sites.

Unfortunately, in students’ eyes most company internship pages do not pass the bar.  Common issues include

  • Stale Sites – Students are extremely tech savvy so when find internships tucked within a general job site, replete with hard to navigate UI, or long winded sign up flows, it leads to significant frustration and applicant drop-off.
  • Sites Stuck in 2011 We have been forwarded countless sites that still have their 2011 career fair calendar up.  Meanwhile, even sites like the NYT suffer from having positions up that are no longer available.  Updating internship sites can be a pain (especially if it requires issuing tickets and more), but not doing so annoys students and is bad for your brand.
  • Invisible-itus – the most common problem is that for many companies their internship program is nowhere to be found online, which makes it feel small or non-existent.

Making Company Recruiting Budgets Stretch

I understand that most HR and recruiting teams operate on an extremely tight budget.  And time is short between doing new grad recruiting in the fall, countless internship and career fairs in the spring and managing large classes of interns, but more and more companies are transitioning to richer online recruiting sites, and there is an opportunity to be left behind as it happens. Fortunately, it is becoming cheaper and easier, to outsource or internally build cool internship pages, that are student friendly.  Creating an SEO friendly page can quickly result in more student traffic and applicants than 50 career fairs put together.  All of which sheds excitement on the future, and provides opportunities for new companies to build their brands, and talent.

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