Why Your Intern May Reject Your Job Offer

This part of your company's culture could be keeping interns from joining your staff.
August 09, 2013

You might see your company’s summer intern as a shoe-in for your next job opening. Your intern, on the other hand, might not be so sure.

A study featured recently in the Journal of Business Venturing found that interns are less likely to stick around small businesses than large corporations once their internships end. One significant reason: They may feel like they have limited promotional opportunities at a small business, and favoritism or family ownership can contribute to that.

“Small business interns are more likely to change their minds after the internship, and justice perception has a stronger effect on their post-internship intentions to join,” the study abstract says.

Small-business nepotism may play a role, as an intern may feel little chance to ever get promoted into a management position. “It is important for entrepreneurs to be unbiased and treat family members and outside new hires equally when it comes to job assignment, compensation, and performance appraisal,” author Hao Zhao wrote in the study, according to an article on Healio.com.

Business leaders can try to overcome this hurdle by making sure to provide their interns with high levels of involvement and responsibility in the firm, the author notes. They may also want to seek out interns who are less sure of their career path: The study notes interns who were less decided about their career direction were also more likely to stay at a business.

Read more articles about internships.

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