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min read

The top 5 challenges of intern programs

How Relocity Guide for Interns helps you solve them to build a world-class internship program

Generation Z, who is 27 years old or younger, has charged into the workforce with technology know-how and fresh ideas. Gen Zers are eager to make a positive impact by contributing to corporate missions. For many of them, that journey begins with an internship.

Employers are using internship programs to start developing a new generation of leaders. A robust internship program doesn’t just attract young workers for temporary roles, but strengthens the talent pipeline by converting interns into permanent full-time employees who are positioned for professional growth at the firm. To benefit from such an opportunity, though, interns must stay engaged and onboard. 

One way to retain today’s interns is to ensure they know you care about them. Of course you care for your interns, but do they feel it? Do you have a pulse on the challenges they face, and how is your firm alleviating pain points? 

Knowing the internship experience directly influences retention rates, employers should jump at every chance to engage interns. One of the biggest opportunities for firms to improve the intern experience is the relocation process.

Top interns are educated, but not always on relocation. Without moving expertise or knowledge about relocation assistance, interns encounter an overwhelming and unknown to-do list. An employer that not only provides, but explains relocation assistance gives interns the support they need. 

What makes relocation overwhelming? For young talent, it’s a combination of:

• Housing scarcity.
• Surging costs.
• Disconnection from peers and employers (which can stem from difficulty engaging interns prior to start dates).
• A disjointed experience. 

For employers, it’s lack of HR data insights, among other things. 

Luckily, Relocity Guide for Interns makes relocation easier for your interns and your HR team. 

Relocity Guide for Interns leads each intern through a personalized self-service relocation experience (including return moves) via our native application, which is powered by our AI-driven workforce mobility platform. By walking interns through the entire relocation process, we help them settle into their new cities as quickly as possible. In our view, leveraging relocation assistance is the first step to reaching your ultimate goal of converting interns into permanent full-time employees. Since relocating can be tough for first-time movers, Relocity supports them and your HR team amid common roadblocks.

Housing scarcity

According to Weichert’s 2022 Interns and Mobility Survey, 57% of respondents cited insufficient housing supply as the hardest part of managing their intern programs. The problem is, if you host internships in major cities and don’t help interns find housing, you’re asking inexperienced, college-age talent to secure living arrangements in expensive and competitive markets all on their own. As a result, interns could:

• Fall victim to leasing scams and violent crime. 
• End up with a very long commute.

To manage these risks, Relocity Guide for Interns recommends neighborhoods and houses from an ever-growing list of inventory using machine learning and predictive analytics, and curates a customized map with transportation options and more.

To offer personalized recommendations, we learn about each intern's preferences on pricing, location, transportation, and more during our onboarding process. These preferences inform the housing and neighborhood options our technology presents in the application and help interns make informed choices about where to live quickly. 

Relocity also works with our customers to build a program around your preferences, such as proximity of housing to offices. We can highlight locations near corporate shuttle stops and include anything else that’s unique to your company’s relocation policy.

If interns need additional information on a city, they can use the chat feature to connect with one of our Relocation Consultants.

To summarize, Relocity deploys machine learning and other predictive technologies to provide recommendations and a personalized map with housing and transportation options. This holistic approach maximizes efficiency, improves Duty of Care, and lowers your overall program risks.

Like housing scarcity, skyrocketing costs is an issue impacting today’s intern programs.

Surging costs

An elevated cost of living poses several problems for cash-strapped Gen Z. For one, Gen Zers face financial insecurity. More than 6 million of them got laid off across the international Group of Seven in the first half of 2020. In fact, the International Labour Organization’s Global Employment Trends for Youth 2022 report notes that “global youth unemployment is projected to decline to 73 million in 2022, which would still be 6 million above the 2019 level.” 

In addition, student debt is common. Roughly 75% of Gen Z owes $25,000-$50,000 for student loans. It's no surprise that 81% of Gen Zers cite money as their greatest stressor.

A second problem is Gen Z’s lack of financial literacy — in general and specific to relocation allowances. Gen Zers typically need more assistance supporting themselves financially and managing budgets than seasoned employees as a result of having less life experience. When it comes to spending an employer-awarded lump sum, an intern who hasn’t relocated before might not know how to allocate the funds.

Relocity Guide for Interns helps educate young talent on relocation costs. Based on the information we learn about an intern as they onboard, we provide content that’s relevant to their relocation. This content includes budget management resources and moving guides, as well as city overviews that shed light on market prices.

Additionally, Relocity Guide for Interns features an in-app marketplace with supplier discounts. We partner with the best providers to:

• Lower costs for interns. 
• Mitigate risk.
• Improve the intern experience.

Choose from our preferred providers or add your own.

By offering information on budgeting and cities, and unlocking discounts from vetted providers, we help interns stretch lump sum dollars. Like rising costs, intern disconnection from peers and employers is another challenge.

Disconnection from peers and employers

Gen Z disengagement is a huge obstacle facing corporate internship programs. According to 2022 research by Gallup, 54% of Gen Z employees are “ambivalent about their workplace (i.e., ‘not engaged’ at work).” Disconnection from their colleagues and employers is one of the leading causes.

Today’s interns crave not just connection with their cohort and brand, but also with senior leaders. A Fortune article notes, “Gen Z workers…don’t just want visible leaders. Young workers want personal relationships with senior managers and to be privy to their thinking and decision-making processes…Gen Zers want to see their own values reflected in their leaders.” 

Corporate values can make or break a Gen Zer’s willingness to sign an employment offer. In fact, 54% of Gen Zers would turn down a firm that doesn’t share their values. Today’s youngest workers will grind and stay engaged for their raises and promotions, but only if such professional growth affects value-driven change.

That’s why employers must communicate how their leaders, missions, and visions align with Gen Z’s values at every possible touch point, including during relocation. 

Relocity Guide for Interns lets tech-savvy Gen Zers engage with their employers in our native app. We display branded messages throughout the relocation journey so your firm can communicate with interns and infuse your culture into the relocation process. Remind interns about corporate events, highlight your mission, vision, and values, showcase your leaders, and more — all in your branded color palette.

Additionally, we let interns connect with each other on trending topics. Relocity monitors in-app conversations for safety and suitability. 

Ultimately, branded messages and digital intern-to-intern communications support engagement, while enabling us to provide a higher level of service. In addition to connecting interns to each other and your brand, we add value by streamlining the relocation process.

A disjointed experience

As discussed, relocation can be overwhelming for interns who’ve never moved before. Without step-by-step guidance, interns can easily get stuck in disjointed journeys and create extra work for HR teams if issues arise.

Relocity Guide for Interns provides everything needed for a successful relocation from one app. From their fingertips, interns can access guidance to complete all relocation tasks on demand. As a result, the overall experience improves.

Disjointed experiences stem from the use of multiple systems. The more login credentials interns must remember, the more complicated relocation is to navigate. That’s why Relocity works with our partners and customers to ensure we consolidate as much of the relocation process as possible into the Relocity platform and native app.

To ensure interns know where they are in their relocation journeys, we display milestones that guide interns through critical activities. If interns get stuck and need support, our team is always available to chat.

In conclusion, Relocity Guide for Interns supports a personalized and self-guided relocation experience for your fresh new talent entirely from our mobile app.

Housing scarcity, skyrocketing costs, disconnection from peers and employers, a disjointed experience — all solved for relocating interns. HR teams need Relocity’s help, too. Because the industry is still implementing modern technology, HR teams must figure out how to capture and analyze relevant data.

Lack of HR data

Global mobility has lagged on technology adoption. As a result, employers lack actionable data insights around relocating populations. Without such data, it’s harder for firms to budget for intern relocation, manage corporate housing effectively, and understand what’s needed to support the settling-in process. 

Relocity Guide for Interns allows employers to drill into the specific activities each intern has completed. 

Analyzing interns’ progress throughout their moves helps HR teams break cycles of reactive troubleshooting. Because your team knows when to reach out to interns before a missed deadline, your approach to problem-solving becomes much more proactive. With Relocity Guide for Interns, you’ll never 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, an HR team can make more informed decisions about the relocation program as a whole.

Our goal is to provide the information HR teams need to understand what’s happening with their relocating interns. For instance, an HR team that learns interns are living in dangerous areas could dig into the issue and discover that alternative housing is too expensive, giving the firm a chance to update stipend or salary policies.

By giving employers visibility into the actions of relocating interns, Relocity Guide for Interns:

• Saves HR teams time on last-minute troubleshooting.
• Helps HR teams provide more realistic relocation budgets. 
• Sheds light on what interns need to settle in.
• Promotes proactive responses to issues.

Data for HR teams and the resulting benefits can prove invaluable as you manage your intern program amid today’s challenges.

Book a demo of Relocity Guide for Interns today

With Relocity Guide for Interns, firms have an important tool at their disposal to build internship programs amid housing scarcity, rising costs, intern disconnection from peers and employers, a disjointed experience, and lack of HR data. Leverage the Guide solution to create a personalized, seamless, and self-driven relocation experience. 

Book a demo to get started.


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