Spotlight for Recruiting ProfessionalsDecember 5, 2012
In recent years, The Hershey Company has changed its hiring strategy to include more entry-level positions and allow the company to develop its young talent. A key component of this approach to entry-level hiring has been the growth of the company’s co-op program.
“Having students on site for six months—as opposed to 10 weeks for a traditional internship—gives us the opportunity to better evaluate and train them, and gives students more exposure to the various areas of the company,” says Steve Schmehl, Hershey’s manager, supply planning. “We build a stronger connection with them through the co-op program.”
But participation in a co-op program can be a tough sell. Often, Schmehl points out, the longer assignment means a student’s graduation date could be pushed back. And Claire Kilbourne, Hershey’s manager of university relations, adds that many schools don’t support co-ops.
Still, they say the benefits of an effective co-op program outweigh its associated challenges. Hershey makes the following suggestions for overcoming obstacles and maximizing your organization’s co-op program:
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