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Summer student campaigns place 280 interns


Leading utility provider


High volume recruitment


80+ summer interns annually

What was the impact?
  • Two-month recruitment cycle

  • 280 inters recruited over 3 years

  • 100% direct hires

  • Full transparency over costs

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A summer student internship is a win-win. It gives an employer the opportunity to raise its profile among the next generation of graduates and identify potential future permanent employees. And it It also gives the interns an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the recruitment process and gain some invaluable work experience. However, such a programme imposes a massive administrative burden over a short-term period, which distracts the HR team from “business as usual”. This bank resolved the problem by turning to a trusted partner, M3S.

The client

As a strong, diversified, vertically integrated utility, the company operates right across the electricity market, from generation, through transmission and distribution to supply.

Today, the company is a leading Irish utility focused on providing excellent customer service and maintaining its financial strength. It has a regulated asset base of approximately €9 billion, with 43% of electricity generation capacity in the all-island market. It currently supplies electricity to approximately 1.5 million customers throughout the island of Ireland.

The company has a highly trained and committed workforce of more than 7,000 people operating in a diverse and high-skill business.

The challenge

Thousands of undergraduates look for work experience at the end of their second and third academic years, to enrich their academic lives and help them think about future careers. The competition to attract the brightest and best of them is intense. For the past three years, M3S has assisted the company with its summer student campaign.  The company’s HR team decided to outsource the project as there was such a high volume of recruitment activity to be completed in a short timeframe. Graduate recruitment also provided an excellent opportunity to raise the visibility of the organisation and to reinforce a positive employer brand among a key target audience, therefore the project needed to be handled sensitively and with a high degree of efficiency – the candidate experience was all-important.

The solution

Starting in 2013, the company had engaged M3S to manage a two-month annual project to hire 80+ summer students for three-month internships. The project started in February and the internships commenced in the first week of June. The company chose M3S based on our ability to handle high volume recruitment and conduct phone screening and face-to-face interviews. Within the two-month project timeline, agreed in detail with the company each year, M3S allowed 10 days for application screening, two weeks for telephone interviews and 3-4 weeks for onsite face-to-face interviews.

This project has since taken place three years running and has extended to other projects.

The benefits

The summer student campaigns in Dublin and Cork have resulted in 280 hires over the three years from 2013 to 2016, while enabling the company’s HR team to focus on other talent acquisition and general HR activities. The interns then worked on a three-month fixed term contract basis. The cost per hire was a fixed fee, which gave the company full transparency over costs. M3S made all of the hires directly, i.e. without recourse to third-party agencies, streamlining communication on the project. “Over this three year period we met our service level agreement targets with the company by 100%,” says M3S, Programme Manager.

By outsourcing the campaigns to M3S the recruitment team at the company was able to focus on “business as usual” roles, secure in the knowledge that M3S would handle the end-to-end process professionally and efficiently, projecting the right image for the company.

Many of the interns subsequently joined the company on a full-time basis in graduate roles as diverse as electrical engineering and customer care. “The programme gave the organisation an opportunity to introduce the company to some of the brightest and best talent in Ireland, providing a pool of potential future candidates and customers  while raising awareness of the company as a leading employer brand,” comments M3S.

There were also benefits for the candidates. “Successful candidates obviously benefited from the subsequent work experience, but everybody got the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the recruitment process. We provided detailed feedback to unsuccessful candidates, for example on how to write a compelling CV or handle interview questions, which will be of assistance to them in seeking future opportunities,”.

HR Specialist at the company, was delighted with how the campaigns had progressed: “My experience with M3S was professional and seamless. They understood our requirements and delivered them in an efficient, friendly manner. I would be very happy to work with them again.”

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