January 23, 2020 | By NACE Staff
TAGS: benchmarks, spotlight, intern conversion rate
Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
Tracking, analyzing, and acting on key metrics is critical to the success of a recruiting operation. One of these key measures for assessing the effectiveness of your organization’s internship program is tracking its intern-to-full time conversion rate.
To calculate the conversion rate for your interns (or co-op students), determine the number of eligible interns and the number of offers that have been accepted by eligible interns.
The critical element here is making sure to determine your eligible interns, and not include all of your interns. For these purposes, an eligible intern is one who is graduating and is pursuing career opportunities. Interns who are still in school are not considered eligible.
Divide the number of acceptances by the number of eligible interns, and multiply by 100. This gives you your conversion rate.
1. Number of eligible interns =
2. Number of accepted offers =
3. (Number of accepted offers) / (Number of eligible interns) =
4. Multiply your answer to #3 by 100 = percent conversion rate
Number of eligible interns = 50
Number of accepted offers = 20
20/50 = 0.4
0.4 x 100 = 40% conversion rate
Your conversion rate can help you determine how effective your internship program is as a recruiting tool. As a rule of thumb, if you are using your internship program as a recruiting tool, your goal should be to convert at least 50 percent of your eligible interns to full-time hires (the most current intern conversion rate among NACE members was 56.1 percent, which was reported in the 2019 Internship & Co-op Survey Report). If your conversion rate falls below that, you may want to examine your program to determine how to improve that rate.
You will want to look at other relevant metrics for your program to help you identify where problems may exist. For example, perhaps you are only making offers to half of your eligible interns, which, in turn, drives down your conversion rate. In such a case, you may need to look at why only half of your eligible interns are receiving offers.
There are a host of metrics that can help you strengthen efforts, build on success, and demonstrate the value of your recruiting program. For a detailed list of formulas, including more-sophisticated takes on the interview, offer, acceptance metrics, e.g., application interview rate and applicant to hire rate, see the Professional Standards for University Relations and Recruiting, Chapter III.
NACE is also currently collecting benchmarks for internship and co-op programs through February; participants and members at their organizations will receive a copy of the report. For information about the survey and taking part, contact, contact Anna Longenberger, research assistant.
Current benchmarks for internship/co-op programs are available through the 2019 Internship and Co-op Survey Report; current benchmarks for recruiting programs overall are available through the 2019 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey Report; if you or someone at your organization took part in one or both of the surveys, you will find the reports in MyNACE. Highlights for both are also available.
Average percent of eligible interns converted to FTE
2021 Internship & Co-op Report
Average percent of eligible interns receiving a job offer
2021 Internship & Co-op Report
Mean hourly rate for bachelor’s-level intern
2021 Guide to Compensation for Interns & Co-ops
Percentage of employers who screen candidates by GPA
Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update
Percent of employers expecting to conduct “hybrid” internship programs this summer
Spring 2021 Quick Poll: Summer Internships and Fall Recruiting
Percent of employers who expect internship programs to have a virtual component
August 2021 Quick Poll: Fall Recruiting