How to attract interns: Make your project stand out

May 9, 2024
7 mins
Your asset will automatically download.
Didn’t get it?
Download Now

The majority of businesses recognize the importance of hiring interns, yet many agree that top talent is harder to find than ever in today's competitive job market. 

Not only do business owners and hiring managers need to identify candidates who are skilled and perfectly aligned with their specific project needs, but they also face the challenge of attracting these individuals to join their teams. This task is made even more daunting by the growing gap between what interns seek in terms of experience and what is currently offered.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to turn these obstacles into advantages by understanding intern motivations and tailoring your internship programs to meet their expectations. By using these strategic approaches to make a successful internship program, you can efficiently connect with the right talent, ensuring your projects not only attract but also inspire the next generation of professionals. 


Understanding intern motivations

Before you start recruiting interns, it's best to have a solid understanding of their motivations. That way, you can create an internship program that’s designed to attract them. Typically, interns are driven by: 

  • A desire to gain real-world, practical experience, and many seek out educational opportunities that offer these hands-on experiences.
  • Learning experiences and opportunities that help them hone their skills and acquire ones that make them stand out professionally.
  • Coaching and mentoring opportunities that help them navigate challenges, gain industry insights, and develop their potential.
  • The ability to earn academic credit for their degree program.
  • Chances to enhance their resumes and make them more competitive in the job market.
  • Opportunities to connect with industry professionals, build relationships, and explore potential career paths.

Key elements to make your internship program stand out

To create an internship program that’s irresistible to potential candidates, it's essential to incorporate elements that make it stand out, such as:

Offer a real job experience

Interns want to do more than basic tasks; they want to genuinely contribute to the organization and gain valuable experience in their field of study. By letting them participate in active, authentic projects, you’ll not only reap all the benefits that interns provide but also provide them with hands-on, real-world experiences crucial for their professional development. 

Position your company as a value-adding experience

To attract more interns, it's essential to position your company as a place where they can truly grow and learn. Whether it's through mentorship programs, access to resources, or exposure to industry experts, showcasing the value that interns can derive from their time with your company will make your internship program stand out from the rest and make recruiting interns easier.

Craft a perfect internship description 

Creating an engaging and clear internship program description is crucial for the intern recruitment process. Here are some key recommendations:

  • Use a concise and attention-grabbing heading that accurately reflects the essence of the internship opportunity.
  • Whether you're laid-back and creative or structured and goal-oriented, ensure your tone mirrors your company culture.
  • Clearly outline the main goal of the project or projects intern candidates will be working on. 
  • Provide a list of specific tasks that interns must complete to achieve the project goal to help applicants get a sense of their responsibilities and the skills they will learn.
  • Whether it's technical skills, soft skills, or industry-specific knowledge, highlight the skills interns will gain through their involvement in the internship.
  • Offer information on the mentoring and coaching support interns will receive during their time with your company.
  • Include a section that provides an overview of your company, its mission, values, company culture, and any relevant achievements to give applicants insight into your organization and why they should choose to intern with you.

Attract a broader range of talents: Consider virtual internships

If you’re only using traditional on-site internships, you could be limiting yourself. Here’s why. Traditional internships, though valuable, often come with disadvantages, especially when it comes to recruiting interns outside of your location. Typically, companies only hire interns that are within the local area; however, virtual internships eliminate this restriction. That’s why an increasing number of businesses are turning to virtual internships

These opportunities allow organizations to:

  • Expand their reach and recruit interns from around the globe.
  • Tap into diverse talent pools with varied backgrounds and perspectives, enriching their teams and fostering innovation.
  • Access new talent year-round, breaking away from the traditional summer internship period. 
  • Attract college students or recent graduates who need the flexibility to fit the internship around their academic commitments or other responsibilities.
  • Sharpen valuable skills that are increasingly in demand in today's digital economy, such as digital communication, project management, and collaboration.
  • Continue their internship programs uninterrupted, even when faced with unforeseen challenges.

Additionally, virtual internships are cost-effective for businesses, particularly smaller companies or those with limited budgets. By eliminating the need for physical workspace, equipment, or on-site resources, companies can save significant expenses compared to in-person internships. 

Promote your internship program

Once you’ve created the perfect description, you need to effectively promote your internship program to recruit interns and attract top talent. Here are some ways you can leverage innovative platforms and traditional outreach methods to enhance your program's visibility and appeal to the most qualified candidates. 

Utilize Riipen to find top talents

One of the most powerful ways to expand your program’s reach is to use Riipen. This world-leading experiential learning platform makes it easier for employers to connect with higher educational institutions and students. With partnerships spanning over 630 colleges and universities worldwide, Riipen provides employers access to an extensive talent pool so they can find the perfect candidate tailored to their unique project needs.

Since the platform specializes in remote collaboration, the process of setting up a virtual internship is streamlined and efficient. Employers can take advantage of Riipen’s extensive template library to quickly publish appealing project-based internships.

Once a project goes live on the marketplace, the platform’s sophisticated matching feature meticulously matches it with the best interns, ensuring that employers connect with top-tier talent who can genuinely contribute to their business goals.


Other promotion methods

Beyond Riipen, there are numerous strategies to effectively promote your internship program, such as:

  • Engaging directly with academic programs, universities, career fairs, and student organizations.
  • Utilizing other digital platforms to broaden your reach. 
  • Posting your internship opportunities on job posting websites and your company website and actively sharing them on social media. 

Remember, each of these channels serves as a touchpoint to engage potential applicants and should be optimized to reflect the exciting opportunities your internship program offers.

No matter what option you choose, be sure to incorporate engaging multimedia such as relevant images, infographics, or even short video clips so your promotion efforts stand out from the crowd. These elements not only break up text and add visual interest but also help in communicating the dynamic nature of your internship program more effectively.

Jump ahead:

Key takeaways 

  • Understand what drives potential interns to design programs that are highly attractive and fulfilling.
  • Position your company as a nurturing ground for growth and learning through mentorship and access to industry expertise, making your offerings irresistible to ambitious candidates.
  • Utilize platforms like Riipen to reach a broader pool of candidates and consider virtual internship programs to overcome geographical limitations.

To fully leverage Riipen’s platform's benefits, book a free demo and receive personalized guidance on how to maximize it to meet specific business and project goals.

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Riipen Report.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Some Form Elements
hs-form is main form class.
form-columns-1 is class of wrapper with 1 column for inputs.
form-columns-2 is class of wrapper with 2 columns for inputs.
input and label
Field Description / Help text
This is help text for the field
Field error message
hs-error-msgs inputs-list
  • Error message label
hs-error-msgs inputs-list is an HTML list element.
hs-error-msg is a text span inside HTML List Item element.
Text area Input
hs-input hs-fieldtype-textarea
hs-fieldtype-textarea is added as combo class.
Note: HubSpot uses basic HTML checkboxes, Webflow checkboxes works differently than the default HTML checkboxes, hence in order to style HubSpot checkboxes you need custom CSS.
you can use Webflow checkbox to style and then copy CSS from it.
Radio Buttons
Success message
Submit button
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.