Our State of the Industry Survey revealed many interesting practical aspects about the escape room industry.
Among those was the fact that over 80% of the escape rooms surveyed do not offer internship programs to students.
It could be they think that they don’t need an internship program; or that it’ll disrupt their business so it’s not worth it and some may not care one way or another.
However, an internship program can actually help your escape room business flourish in more ways than one.
Baffled? Then read on.
1. An internship program could find you new employees.
An internship can be said to be the best form of a job interview.
One, because it’s much more drawn out, giving you more time to understand the calibre and work ethic of the intern; that is simply not possible in a traditional interview.
Two, the mental stress an interviewee is likely to be under will be missing in an internship. The intern will be at ease and therefore their performance will be more in tune with their full ability.
Three, you can test out the intern’s ability to negotiate crunch moments on the job. For example, how do they handle the situation if players get trapped inside one of your rooms due to a malfunction?
This kind of stress is different from interview-related stress. There are people who may be able to handle such a situation calmly but crumble under pressure in an interview.
And you can’t really simulate such a situation in an interview, can you?
Four, your entire team can judge whether the intern would be a good fit as a permanent team member. Someone may be good at game design or in handling electronics (their field of expertise) but not be able to fit in with your existing team of employees. This is another aspect that cannot be determined in an interview.
Finally, hiring an intern also represents a big saving for you; in terms of time and money.
If you get an employee via an internship program, you save on the time (and maybe money) of having to call for resumes and conduct interviews for that position. Even more so if you hire an agency to conduct interviews.
2. Interns can offer you important insight into things like game design and marketing
Our survey revealed that the 25-30 age group is the single largest age group into which Escape Room players fall.
And today’s interns are tomorrow’s 25-30 crowd, aren’t they?
Today’s interns may be tomorrow’s paying players. – Tweet idea?
Which makes them a good source of insight into what kind of Escapes this critical demographic prefers and where they hang out online, and you can boost your online presence accordingly.
3. ‘Stickier’ employees
A survey carried out by the National Association of Colleges and Employers revealed that employees who were hired out of internships had a retention rate of 65.5%, compared to 46.2% for employees who’ve never been part of any internship program.
In other words, internships can lead to ‘stickier’ employees, that is, people who will remain with your Escape Room longer.
4. Wouldn’t you be grateful for an extra pair of hands?
An intern is expected to do most of the jobs that a regular employee in that position would do, giving you an extra pair of hands.
Now of course, you cannot treat an intern like a regular employee. Depending on local and state law, you may have to mandatorily assign them a mentor, pay them at least the minimum wage and even perhaps overtime, if they have worked any.
The mentor too will be able to hone their leadership skills.
Even with all that, an intern is still an extra pair of hands and eyes and you will be grateful for having them.
5. Up to date insight
Fields of study are constantly changing, to keep up with the times.
What the intern is learning in their course on Game Design, for example, may be different from what your regular designer learned. An intern could offer fresh insight which may help your team design games that would appeal to more players.
Particularly since many Escape Room don’t employ a lot of staff, just one intern could bring in ideas you may not have thought of by yourself.
On the other hand, students will also line up to get an internship with you since it’s easier to get hands-on experience and better mentoring at smaller firms.
6. Increase visibility on campuses
An intern has been thoroughly exposed to your brand. If they like interning for you, your brand’s going to become quite popular around campus.
And pretty soon you’re going to have people lining up to get an internship with you, giving you the flexibility to choose an intern keeping in mind that you’d like them to become a permanent employee.
Secondly, many Escape Rooms count school and college groups as among their biggest customers. Being mentioned among college groups can give you a leg up among this critical player demographic.
7. Giving back to the community
A paid internship could be of great help to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Also, by mentoring students, you’re giving them an insight into the job market, and giving them a real life opportunity to sharpen their skills and apply their acquired knowledge in real-life situations.
All of this makes for very good PR. You’re seen as someone who gives back to the community.
This raises the profile of your Escape Room and leads to increased bookings.
In short, having an internship program
- Allows you to look closely into each candidate’s on the job aptitude, as opposed to their qualifications on paper, so you know whether the intern can be hired as a permanent member of staff or not.
- Gives you an extra pair of hands.
- Offers your entire team new insight into various aspects of game design and marketing.
- Increases your brand visibility on college campuses.
- Is good for PR because it shows you as someone who wants to give back to the community.
Can you think of any more benefits an Escape Room can get from hiring an intern?
Did this post convince you to actually start an internship program (in case you don’t have one)?
Do you have any intern stories you’d like to share?
Please share in the comments below!