Internship: Valuable Experience or Exploitation?

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Flickr/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

For better or worse, internship has received a lot of coverage this year. Few people would disagree that on the job training is one of the most effective ways for new entrants into the job market to gain much needed experience. On the other hand, companies that take advantage of a revolving door of unpaid interns, never intending to extend an offer for paid employment, are doing both the interns and their organizations a disservice.

When a perpetual state of unpaid internship appears to be the only available job option, the damage to an intern is obvious. Perhaps not so obviously, a company’s reputation can be mangled and its ability to attract talent in the future greatly compromised, when it’s found to be using unethical or illegal practices with respect to interns (not to mention being subject to potential litigation).

Much like cooperative education programs and apprenticeship programs, well-run internships provide valuable workplace experience and help forge professional and industry connections. Some recent graduates may consider the lack of pay acceptable, as long as the experience and future potential is sufficient. In the end, only an internship program that provides value to both the intern and the employer is sustainable.

The infographic below, compiled by InternMatch, provides some interesting insights into the prevalence and distribution of internships in the United States; which industries are more inclined to provide paid internships; and what interns are looking for when they accept an intern position.   

Here are some key points to note:

  • 37.8% of interns want better pay
  • 47.3% of interns are interested in access to executives and mentorship
  • 30.2% of interns want opportunities to do real work
  • New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are the top cities for internship opportunities


For more tips on working with new GenY job entrants, read this article by our co-founder, Joseph Fung, or Sign Up to be notified by email when we’ve got great new content.

Work is Hell, Without Trust

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Working in an environment where leaders are not trusted, and co-workers are more likely to sabotage than support each other, is not only hellish, it’s also a recipe for business disaster. As much as the ability to produce and innovate is impaired by disengaged or apathetic employees; it is demolished when they become fearful, cynical and bitter—and that’s what happens without trust. Hell, a mosaic by Coppo Di Marcovaldo via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain Building and maintaining trust in the workplace is one of the most critical functions of leadership. If you are a …

Why HR Should Bet on Technology [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Using new technology increases your odds of finding the top talent your company needs to thrive, while reducing your hiring risk. The infographic below, compiled by Spark Hire, offers some key reasons to consider new HR technologies; highlights include: 94 percent of recruiters plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts Big data is expected to generate 4.4 million jobs by 2015 More than 6 in 10 companies are now using video interviews in their recruiting process Companies will spend upwards of $2 billion on gamification services by 2015 70 percent of active job seekers are using their mobile devices to look for jobs For companies looking …

Is Today’s Work Environment Killing Us?

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Is the new knowledge economy and computer-centric employment ruining our health? This interesting (if alarming) infographic from Hello Scheduling suggests just that. According to one blogger's deadly deductions, sitting still is one of the worsts culprits, with longer work days magnifying the impact of increasingly sedentary statistics. And if the stretched-out workday and sitting don't get you, apparently the office germs will! What are you doing in your workplace to combat these concerns and create a more healthy work environment? TribeHR helps cultivate a culture of excellence and foster employee engagement, for happier, healthier teams. Subscribe now …

What Hourly Employees Value [Infographic]

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The majority of staff in the United States are hourly workers who have little to no control over their work schedules. The retail industry has annual turnover of 80–100%. The cost of replacing hourly workers is up to 1/3 of their annual salary. That’s why when employee engagement is low, it’s vital for businesses to get staff enthusiastic about the organization and the role they play within in. In 2013, Gen Y made up 25% of the American workforce. By 2025, this number will increase to 75%. To keep this growing group of employees happy, they say they want scheduling flexibility, …

Productivity, Morale, and Staff Retention [Infographic]

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Employee morale is directly linked to both productivity and staff retention. This infographic created by Yast breaks down the different areas where staff find satisfaction in their work, and why they choose to stay with their employer. Eighty percent enjoy listening to music at work. Productivity is increased by 9% when employees are allowed to surf the web on personal sites. Over half of staff would appreciate a 10-minute outdoor break. And almost 2/3 staff said they would work harder if they were acknowledged for the good work they have done. The reasons employees stay with the company are a bit different. …

Infographic: An Introduction to Severance Packages

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Nobody loves employee turnover. But for countless reasons—personal changes, lay-offs, new opportunities, etc.—every day employees around the world leave their present employer to go on to new adventures. But when a worker leaves, it can be tough to keep up a positive relationship, which can harm your company's reputation, hurt your chances of getting future referral hires, and even put you at risk for lawsuit. Fortunately, a great severance package can help. The infographic below, compiled by job hunting and career management solution CareerShift, spells out exactly why organizations need to focus on the …

The Do's and Don'ts of HR Management [infographic]

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With more technology, more access and more exposure than ever before, it’s a great time for human resource managers to make names for themselves and for their companies. But doing so takes a bit of finesse. Sure, you can build a top recruiting brand, but if you ignore your qualified job candidates for too long, there still won’t be anyone who wants to work with you. And you can set a good (and smart) example by hiring and promoting women and other protected groups, but if you don’t give women raises at the same …

Introducing the new TribeHR Pay Raise Index and the Question of Fair Pay

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Pay raises are a great economic indicator, signalling that business is healthy and employees are reaping the rewards for their hard work and contributions. And any of us who’ve been lucky enough to receive a pay raise know how deeply satisfying a part of our career journey it is, not to mention putting food on the table and paying the mortgage. At TribeHR, we’re also interested in pay raises and their macro role in impacting a company’s workplace culture, as well as its hiring and retention potential. Today we’re introducing the TribeHR …

How Do You Know When An Employee Is Burned Out? [infographic]

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Overworked, stressed out, tired, consumed. No matter what you call it, burnout is a significant risk to employees at any organization. It can zap productivity, drain morale, and make turnover skyrocket. But before you can take steps to prevent or reverse burnout, you need to be able to recognize the signs and understand the risk factors. Fortunately, the fine folks over at Keas Employee Wellness put together a lovely infographic that does exactly that. Did you know 40% of American employees find their jobs stressful, or that low pay and long commutes are some of the highest risk factors? Check out …

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