3 strategies to make your intern mobility program stand out
How to enhance the intern experience, provide Duty of Care, and digitize programs while cutting costs
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How to enhance the intern experience, provide Duty of Care, and digitize programs while cutting costs
Born between 1996 and 2015, Generation Z is 27 years old or younger. Technology is more prevalent in this generation’s day to day than that of any other age cohort. After growing up with social media and smartphones, Gen Z is at the forefront of technology adoption as industries undergo digital transformation. Gen Zers are eager to engage with employers via personalized, flexible, and self-service tech experiences. Dell Technologies affirms Gen Z needs holistic technology solutions that provide intuitive experiences at work — from the hiring process to day-to-day tasks. Because business technology shapes the Gen Z experience just as much as HR policies, infusing tech into your corporate internship program is key to providing a frictionless experience for Gen Z interns.
Relocation is a critical aspect of intern program management that stands to benefit from digital transformation. Destination services providers (DSPs) have been running these programs like all others for decades, but innovative newcomers to the industry such as Relocity are introducing innovative, tech-driven solutions that support interns during the entire relocation journey. Digital solutions that address challenges — like providing adequate relocation support in a cost-cutting environment, engaging interns, and leveraging data that enables proactive (versus reactive) relocation support — make intern programs easier to manage and more attractive to Gen Z talent.
Given that 68% of Gen Zers would rescind an internship offer if a better offer came along, employers must use every tool available to attract and retain Gen Z talent in today’s competitive intern market. Relocation support is an excellent place to start. Here are three strategies to help your corporate internship program stand out:
1. Enhance lump sum packages with high-value/low-cost relocation support.
2. Leverage tech to connect interns with your brand and each other.
3. Use data to evaluate talent engagement.
Top interns are skilled, but not typically at relocation. If this is one of their first moves in their lives, they'll require assistance in navigating secure, budget-friendly housing, transportation, and lifestyle choices – all through a digital-first experience aligned with their preferences. While addressing these needs enhances the intern experience and improves duty of care, your global mobility budget likely isn’t optimized to provide your interns with fully managed moves. So how can you enhance relocation support at a lower price point?
More and more employers are turning to mobile-first solutions that recommend housing, transportation, and lifestyle options based on each intern’s unique profile. At Relocity, we start with an automated onboarding process that’s tailored to the individual policy, timeline, and preferences. Depending on the policy type, say for interns coming internationally, we can also provide in-destination resources with local expertise to ensure that young talent who may not speak the local language fluently, get the extra help they need to enjoy their short time in their host city for their internship.
What’s more, our solutions are available digitally through a native mobile application with a variety of helpful features, including AI-driven neighborhood recommendations, customizable map layers, city guides, and in-app marketplaces that offer discounted services from reputable providers, such as Trunk, that help interns stretch their lump sum stipends further. Our digital-first solution prompts interns to work through the relocation tasklist on their own with easy-to-use tools that provide milestone tracking along the way. These solutions not only stretch your dollars, but also help you:
Improve the employee experience and wellness. Contributing to the financial, physical, and emotional wellness of your interns is part of enhancing the employee experience. Some key considerations include:
• Financial wellness: Gen Zers typically need more assistance supporting themselves financially and managing budgets than seasoned employees as a result of having less life experience. Gen Zers also face financial insecurity because more than 6 million of them got laid off across the international Group of Seven in the first half of 2020 and roughly 75% of Gen Zers owe $25,000-$50,000 for student loans. It’s no surprise 81% of Gen Zers cite money as their greatest stressor. Employers should account for Gen Z’s financial circumstances when designing corporate internship programs.
• Physical wellness: Physical well-being is a key wellness category in relocation. Employers that don’t offer relocation assistance may inadvertently create situations like random online searches for low-cost housing, extremely long commute times, and risk of scams and rentals in high-crime areas. Without knowledge of safe, affordable neighborhoods, housing, and transportation options in your firm’s key markets, interns may end up living in high-crime areas or two hours away from their designated office. Providing some level relocation guidance, beyond a lump sum payment, helps secure the physical well-being of relocating interns.
•Emotional wellness: Considering 46% of Gen Zers face stress and anxiety most or all of the time, employers should take the added pressure of relocation very seriously when designing internship programs. To feel at ease, interns and their parents/guardians need information about local medical services, grocery stores, gyms, and more. The less an intern struggles with relocation, the more emotionally healthy they are, the more productive they become, and the more likely they are to convert into a full-time employee. Knowing relocation can be overwhelming for Gen Z, and even older transferees, employers should guide interns through every step.
Enhance Duty of Care. Duty of Care in global mobility refers to an organization's responsibility to protect the well-being of their talent, particularly those who are relocated or assigned to work in foreign or unfamiliar locations. This obligation includes ensuring not only their physical safety but also their mental wellness. This level of care helps interns avoid dangerous situations and protects the employer’s brand reputation. It's not only about fulfilling legal requirements but also about demonstrating genuine care for their talent, which can enhance morale, loyalty, and productivity. Employers can demonstrate Duty of Care for their interns by helping them get the right guidance on safe neighborhoods for housing, reliable commuting options, and avoiding scams.
Digital-first global mobility solutions that offer AI-powered recommendations, personalized resources, lump sum payments, and supplier discounts are high-impact because they help interns with a range of critical tasks — including relocation rental assistance – and mitigate risks for their employers related to intern dissatisfaction, financial misuse, compliance, and low intern-to-hire conversions.
Aside from providing high-impact/low-cost relocation support, firms aiming to attract, engage, and retain Gen Z talent should connect interns to each other and the brand at every opportunity.
Connecting Gen Z to your brand is one of the best ways to engage and convert intern talent. Gen Zers are choosing employers based on corporate morals. In fact, 54% of Gen Zers would reject a firm that doesn’t share their core values. Therefore, your company’s mission and purpose are vital to the intern value proposition.
That’s why employers must communicate how their missions and visions align with Gen Z’s values. This can be challenging in today’s world of hybrid work, but Gen Zers must connect with the brand at every possible touch point — including the relocation process — to stay engaged.
Because technology is how Gen Z engages, firms should think digital-first when strategizing how to connect with interns during relocation. Because Gen Z is very comfortable participating in social media and online communities, employers should think about creating a similar experience for relocation.
Digital-first relocation solutions like Relocity Guide and Relocity Concierge offer a variety of features to connect interns to the brand — and ultimately create a positive employee experience. For one, the interface of these solutions can be themed for your brand. Additionally, announcement functionality allows you to share branded messages with your interns in one centralized place. Highlight your mission and vision, and leverage personalized notifications in your brand colors.
Cohort connection is just as important as brand connection. Cutting-edge relocation solutions such as Relocity’s offer chat functionality (perfect for seeking advice from experts and peers) and activity feeds (ideal for connecting on popular topics, locations, events, and services — sorted by preference and relevance) that connect interns to the rest of their cohort.
Along with community and communication connection, data insights around talent engagement during the relocation process can help you optimize your program and attract Gen Z workers.
Without proper engagement data, understanding where interns are succeeding and struggling during the relocation journey is difficult for global mobility teams. Since the global mobility industry has lagged on technology adoption, employers typically lack actionable data insights for relocating populations.
Luckily, the industry is evolving. In the spirit of innovation, DSPs like Relocity are now providing global mobility teams with the necessary info to understand what’s happening with relocating interns. As a result, global mobility leaders can set their programs apart from others by making data-driven decisions to optimize policies.
Look for a digital relocation solution that allows you to drill into the specific activities each intern has completed. Analyzing interns’ progress through the journey helps global mobility teams break cycles of reactive troubleshooting. With the right data insights, your team can reach out to interns before a missed deadline to problem-solve vs. fire fight once a deadline is missed. With this type of data insights, you’ll never again find out the day before a start date that an intern doesn’t have housing!
From a broader perspective, with intern- and market-specific data, your team can make more informed decisions about the relocation program as a whole. For instance, a global mobility team can use this year’s data to revamp your program for next year to make it even more successful. This is just one way that engagement data can prove invaluable as you design your intern program to be world class.
Taking innovation a step further are solutions that make AI-driven recommendations. Based on the learnings of past work orders (around services used, housing selected, and more), using advanced technology helps corporate internship program teams understand how you can optimize your policy to best support your intern talent in any given destination. All of this is possible with the right digital relocation solution. At Relocity, we focus on delivering the right mobility data insights to our RMC partners for one-stop analytics through their analytics dashboards or directly to corporate mobility leaders – however each internship leader prefers.
In conclusion, Gen Z is a tech-savvy cohort seeking personalized, flexible, and self-service technology experiences at work. To attract, engage, and retain interns in this generation, employers are turning to innovative DSPs for new solutions that integrate technology into the relocation process.
Digital-first relocation solutions offered via native mobile apps such as Relocity’s help employers provide valuable destination services at a lower cost than fully managed moves, connect interns to the brand and each other, and offer critical data insights for program management. As a result, firms are improving the intern relocation experience, providing an enhanced level of Duty of Care, and digitizing programs while still cutting costs. The strategic integration of advanced technology like AI is shaping the future of corporate internship programs, making them attractive and impactful for Gen Z talent.
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