The study, conducted on behalf of an i4cp Fortune 500 member company, also found that only half of the organizations that have internship programs attempt to quantify the benefits to begin with, though high-performance organizations are much more likely to do so (64%) than lower performing companies (38%). This is not surprising, considering that high-performance organizations almost always do more to measure and quantify the strategic benefits of their efforts.
Nearly half (47%) of high-performing organizations reported intern labor productivity as the main measure for quantifying the benefits of an internship program, while 45% said improved retention among full-time employees who were formerly interns is a significant factor. Only 27% of lower performing organizations reported that these measures were used to quantify the benefits of internship programs to a high or very high degree.
Among the top-performing companies, improving the productivity of other employees by distributing some of their tasks to interns was the least used metric (22%), whereas low-performing organizations were most likely to select this as a ROI quantifying measure.
The ROI of Internship Programs study, which was conducted in May 2010, is now available to i4cp members in both report and interactive data formats. The study also examined the costs companies account for in regards to internship programs, the extent to which interns are exposed to other parts of the company and the way in which schools are selected as sources of talent.