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If you are a Human Resources professional in charge of the internship program for your company, housing is a task you may want to outsource. Check out these 8 tips, you Especially Want to Avoid #8
Many successful companies recruit their best and brightest young talent through internship programs.
These programs are often one of the most important jobs for members of the human resources staff. And depending on how many interns are brought in—and how often— it can be a big job.
Between finding the talent, recruiting them, matching them up with hiring managers in your company, and putting them through the vetting/hiring process— there’s a lot to do.
And depending on the scope of your search for intern candidates, you’re often bringing in students that are not local. That means you also need to help them find suitable housing.
Believe it or not, the housing component can be one of the best tools in recruiting that young talent. After all, they’re not just choosing to come work for your company after graduation—they’re also choosing a new home town.
If their living experience is a good one, you have a better chance of convincing them to move there permanently.
Whether your company manages the entire intern housing process or provides a housing stipend, you could easily become overwhelmed with this function. We’re going to look at 8 reasons that you may want to outsource intern housing and get it off your already full plate.
Company Managed Intern Housing
If your company manages the entire housing program for your interns, you already know, there’s a lot to it. It could easily be a full-time responsibility for an HR rep. But few companies have the resources to dedicate one person—or more— entirely to this process.
#1: Finding Apartments For Interns Is Difficult
The majority of intern programs happen over the summer break for college students. And that also happens to be the busiest season for apartment communities.
Finding apartments within your budget, close to your facility, and that makes a good impression can feel like an impossible task. After all, the whole point of an internship program is to recruit the best talent. The last thing you want to do is house them somewhere that is unsafe or is in bad condition.
Using a corporate housing company to source your apartments will take a huge weight off your shoulders.
They have established relationships with the communities, and know them inside and out. They already know the ones that will make your valued interns feel welcome and cared for.
Not only that, if you’re managing the intern housing yourself, you will be signing a lease and paying a deposit on each individual apartment.
In contrast, when you work with a corporate housing company, you will typically sign just one agreement for the entire project, and eliminate the deposit altogether. That can be a big relief to your company’s cash flow.
#2: Setting Up a Temporary Apartment Is Time Consuming
A lot goes into setting up a temporary apartment. Besides securing the apartment itself, you also need to provide furniture and utilities.
There’s a good chance that you could spend days just setting up utilities for all of the apartments. Besides the hours spent on the phone to order service, you will also need to meet technicians at every apartment on installation day. And each one could easily be an all-day project.
If you have a big group of interns, you may be multiplying that task by 10, 20, or even 30. I am certain that you have important work to get done, and waiting for a cable tech could put you very behind.
To make a long story short, you should be using your talents to find awesome new employees, not setting up utilities at a bunch of apartments.
#3: Dealing With Service Issues at the Apartment
When the toilet overflows, the air conditioner stops working, or someone gets locked out, somebody needs to be there to help.
If you are managing the housing for your interns, that somebody will probably be you.
The apartment community has a maintenance staff where the intern can report their issues. But as young adults just getting their start in the world, many are still learning how to deal with things like this. And since you are the one who has been helping them with their housing, you are naturally the one they think of to call.
However, if you have outsourced the intern housing to a corporate housing provider, you can rest assured that the issues are being handled and your interns feel comfortable.
Most established providers have a dedicated guest services staff taking care of every issue their guests encounter. They establish themselves as the go-to for all problems—great and small—leaving you to enjoy your weekends and evenings.
#4: Endless Invoices
Think about all the bills you pay each month for your own housing.
You have your rent or mortgage, electric, gas, cable, and Internet service. Then you may also have water and trash service bills to pay.
The intern apartments are also going to have most of these bills. Plus an invoice for furniture rental.
If you are managing the intern housing program for your company, it is probably going to fall on your shoulders to collect, code, and account for all of those bills before they’re sent off to the accounting department for payment.
When you’re dealing with multiple apartments, and bills are coming in at different times throughout the month, that is a big job.
Contrast that with a company that uses a corporate housing provider to help manage their intern housing. There is a very good chance that instead of all those invoices landing on their desk each month, they get just one.
Intern Managed Housing
Not every company manages the entire housing process for their interns. Many provide a housing stipend and let the interns take care of their own housing.
Even if this is how your program works, you may still benefit from professional help. And a corporate housing provider can make things go more smoothly for your valuable recruits.
Finding housing for their internship comes at a time when their stress level is already high. They are busy wrapping up their semester at school, studying for finals, and preparing for the work they will do during their internship. Working with a professional to secure housing will allow them to eliminate some of that stress and keep their focus where it needs to be.
#5: Making a Good First Impression is Essential
Letting your interns have control over their housing makes a lot of sense for some companies. They have the freedom to choose where they want to live, and it saves you the headaches associated with managing the process.
Often times you’ll even have interns with a friend working in the same city but at a different company. They might appreciate the opportunity to pool their resources and find an apartment together for the summer.
But unfortunately, sometimes leaving them to find their own housing can backfire.
If the intern isn’t familiar with the city, the process is probably going to be stressful for them. And if they end up choosing a place that is unsafe or not well-maintained, they could exit the program with a bad impression of the whole experience.
When you’re trying to recruit hot young talent, this really isn’t the way you want it to go.
Instead, you could have them work with a corporate housing company. These professionals will help them find a great apartment and make sure your valued recruit is well taken care of throughout their stay.
A well-cared-for intern is more likely to exit the summer eager to come back after graduation.
#6: Answering a Million Questions
Another big speed-bump of letting your intern find housing completely on their own is the questions. Lots and lots of questions.
How far away is this or that? Is this a good neighborhood? What about that one? Is there a Whole Foods store near there? Is there anything to do around this place or that one?
Now, all that time you were hoping to save by letting the intern take care of their own housing has just been whittled away.
By outsourcing your intern housing, you can eliminate the endless questions. Because you now have a corporate housing provider that is knowledgeable and will cheerfully answer them.
Not just that, they’ll also guide them to an apartment in a neighborhood they will enjoy. Your intern may end up liking the area so much that they want to make it their new hometown when they’re finished with school. That’s the hope anyway!
#7: Avoiding Mistakes of DIY Housing
Sometimes interns don’t ask a lot of questions, and when they’re doing things on their own, that can be just as bad.
There are so many pitfalls that could be lurking around each corner. For one, their safety is a big concern. But there are also issues like budgeting properly, or making sure the lease terms are favorable.
A corporate housing partner can alleviate these issues. Besides offering a safe location, corporate housing simplifies the process for the intern. There will be just one monthly bill, and they won’t have to worry about long-term leases or even security deposits.
Fewer mistakes causing stress and distractions at work, mean a more enjoyable experience for your intern. It also means less stress for your HR team and hiring managers.
#8: Losing Candidates to a Competitor
Attracting top talent is hard and the competition is stiff. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
That said, offering a package that isn’t up to snuff with what your competitors are offering could really hurt your chances of getting the best candidates.
Since corporate housing providers are always on top of the current industry trends, they can offer valuable insights. They will help you offer the best locations to match your budget and your company culture. Leaning on their expertise, you will be confident that you are offering the best package you possibly can, and attracting the future stars of your industry.
Is It Time To Outsource Your Intern Housing?
You’ve got a lot to think about! If your HR department is experiencing any of these issues, it is worth your time to talk to a corporate housing provider and weigh your options.
At ExecuStay Midwest, we have experts in each market. They can answer your questions and help you design an intern housing program that is going to impress your top candidates!
Each year our Business Development Team helps dozens of companies manage their intern housing programs. Want to talk to one of these experts Contact them now to learn more and see if outsourcing makes sense for you!