- Kaiser Permanente's internship program earned top ratings in a new Indeed data analysis. Indeed measured intern responses within its own database (which boasts 72 million ratings and reviews from all users, including interns) to determine the 15 top-rated internship programs. Disney, Northwestern Mutual, Walgreens and YMCA rounded out the top five.
- Interns commented on the practices that made the companies' programs exceptional. For example, Kaiser — which got an overall rating of 4.24 stars out of five stars from interns — was complimented on its passion for serving clients. Those at Disney praised the company for allowing interns to work with "world-class experts," Indeed said in a blog post.
- According to Indeed, a sample of best practices at the top internship programs includes: offering paid internships; allowing interns to perform a variety of tasks that a regular employee would have to do; and providing perks like housing and transportation assistance. Indeed recommended that employers plan interns' work ahead of time to keep them occupied and interested, and to think long-term about the potential internships have in helping the organization meet its talent goals.
Internships can be significant on-the-job learning and career opportunities for college students, but they can also be a potential talent pipeline for employers, who are competing for candidates in a labor market that favors skilled job seekers.
Perhaps not coincidentally, demand for interns is up this year, an earlier Indeed Hiring Lab report shows; demand in March, when employers usually post internships, was double that of the last two years. However, searches for internships had not kept pace with demand during that same time period, leading to early predictions that competition for top candidates will be intense this summer.
The high demand for interns might have gotten a boost from the U.S. Department of Labor, which scrapped its six-factor test for deciding whether interns could be unpaid or whether they were employees entitled to compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The department replaced the six-factor test with a “primary beneficiary” test, which several federal courts of appeal use. According to some experts, many employers had rolled back their unpaid internship programs during the Obama administration because of its enforcement the six-factor test and related high-profile litigation.
Indeed's list of best companies for interns are all high-profile employers, which means smaller, lesser-known companies may face some recruiting challenges. Small employers are getting creative, however, offering meaningful programs and leveraging their brand to attract top talent.