Internship programmes are fast emerging as a key platform for staff hiring and talent acquisition by companies, and many giants like Coca Cola, Infosys and Pearson are adopting this as a key HR strategy.

Companies generally recruit people from the campuses for internship programmes and based on their performance and inclination, induct them for full-time roles in the company at a later stage. HR experts are increasingly seeing this as an important tool to build talent pipeline for an organisation.

Organisations such as Infosys, Coca Cola, GHCL, Pearson, Yes Bank, Faurecia and Brands of Desire are some of the entities increasingly looking at internship as a key HR strategy.

“At Coca Cola India, the campus hiring is done through the summer internship programme called Mantra. It is an eight-week summer internship programme that offers learning experience for students from the top premier B-schools in India. Through this, interns are hired each year and groomed through the various business critical functions,” Sameer Wadhawan, Vice-President, Human Resources & Services, India & South West Asia at Coca Cola India, said.

In addition, the Coca Cola University has a special capability development programme for Coca Cola India’s Franchise Bottling partners, called ‘Eagles’. Spread across six months, the Eagles programme includes classroom learning, e-learning, mentoring, coaching and feedback and field work.

IT major Infosys also has a Global Internship Programme — InStep — for undergraduate, graduate and PhD students from leading academic institutions around the world.

Infosys hires InStep interns from over 100 universities and business schools across the globe for executing high-impact projects for the organisation. In FY 2013-14, Infosys hired 160 interns representing over 40 nationalities.

Automotive parts manufacturer Faurecia hires freshers from engineering backgrounds — a minimum of 50 students each year — who are then inducted into an ‘inbuilt groom’ programme.

According to experts, companies are now looking at internship programme as a talent management strategy and for creating a talent pool for future growth. “We have a healthy percentage of 80 per cent and above when we consider the number of interns being retained in our organisation. After completion of their training, we look forward to identify the real talent and accordingly measure their abilities which serve the organisational goal,” GHCL Limited Vice-President & HR Head Rajesh Tripathi said.

Saurabh Uboweja, CEO, Brands of Desire, Asia’s leading brand consultancy, also said that a good internship programme helps in building the talent pipeline of an organisation. “We hire interns from the leading business schools like the IIMs. On an average, we consider about 20 per cent of our interns for a full-time role where we see the right long-term fit,” Mr. Uboweja said.

Learning solutions giant Pearson also has an internship programme wherein it hires talent from top institutions. Similarly, private lender Yes Bank has Y-PEP as its institutionalised talent acquisition programme and is led by the Yes School of Banking. It hires management professionals directly from premier B-schools in India and select foreign universities.