Find Your Future Workforce Today!

By Connie Gee-Abate, Strategic Initiatives, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

Did you know?  The Greater Tampa Chamber’s Academic Partners have well over 300,000 students who are now preparing to become the future workforce of the Greater Tampa Area? Students of various backgrounds who are currently acquiring skills that your business will need in the near future are right here in your own backyard. Your business has an opportunity to connect today’s students to tomorrow’s job opportunities.

Internships: Important to Businesses, Academia, and the Community

Businesses, regardless of size, depend upon the strength of their workforce to be competitive locally and globally. Substantial resources are allocated to seek top talent that will provide the organization a competitive advantage in their current environment, and opportunities for continued growth in the future. Successful companies value their workforce talent as much as their other assets and understand the importance in finding the most qualified talent to meet the needs of the business.

Talent acquisition is a major cost to organizations competing for top talent that requires an optimized process that provides value, efficiency, and contained costs. Typical new hire costs range from $2900 to $4700 per week, depending upon the position, the number of company recruiters and interviewers. Much of the expense is spent reviewing resumes, talking with numerous applicants, multiple interviews by multiple interviewers, talking with colleagues before, during, and after interviews, and identifying the “right fit” new employee.  This does not include the indirect costs of loss of business and productivity while the position is vacant, hiring temporary help, and possibly additional training costs. If candidates are not coming from a local source, the hiring process can also include travel expenses. As the costs mount, competitiveness for having the best talent is reduced.

Businesses want to invest and grow in an area with cost effective recruitment opportunities. Internships are the best way to efficiently and effectively find your future workforce long before any recruitment and interview process. They offer cost savings and help finding the perfect fit for your organization. Best of all, your organization has the ability to develop a local talent into a business team member who already understands the culture and expectations of the organization, and the skill sets required for specific positions within the organization. The intern then has the opportunity to close any skill gaps through their academic curriculum. By the time the intern becomes a team member, skill sets are immediately useful and training time and costs are reduced. The overall reduction in time to hire equates to a reduced cost per hire.

Internships also provide the opportunity to hire the right employee the first time and ensure retention. The loss of an employee can cost as high as 150% of the annual salary, and low staff retention rates means thousands of unnecessary dollars spent. Companies spend 75% of their time managing recruiting mistakes. Most of the mistakes are because the company does not really know the candidate until much later in the process.

Internships also provide two way relationship building. The intern develops relationships with team members, customers, and other stakeholders, while everyone gets to know the intern. These social interactions help develop soft skills, ensuring that the communication skills necessary to the organization are met.

Students frequently want to work where they studied, but are not aware of the job opportunities and may know even less about their surrounding community. They may not have any other connection to the community besides the school they attend, and their family and friends may be many miles away. Businesses who work with interns have an opportunity to be an “ambassador” who can tell the community’s story. Conversations can take place about job opportunities and cultural activities. Early connections with local students can help them feel comfortable and confident in what the community has to offer, and provide a sense of belonging to the community. This bond with the community can in turn create a long term investment made by the student as they establish professional networks and engage in the community activities and organizations.

Thinking about developing an Internship Program? The Chamber is offering a “how to” program on Thursday, March 29th.  Click here to register.


  1. retrieved 3/10/2016
  2. Davison, Barbara “The Importance of Cost Per Hire – Analysis of Recruitment Costs. BNET/News articles. N.p.n.d. Web: September 13. 2011.
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About Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit business membership organization that helps promote the businesses and business interests of our members. We come from diverse backgrounds: from small businesses, big corporations, government bodies and the military. United, we become a single, unifying force with the power to shape the future of Tampa Bay.