Havas to Chicago: Take our interns, please

This summer, interns at Havas Chicago won’t just be working on Havas projects. Many of them will be outsourced throughout the city.

As a part of the agency’s new 10-week 2015 #GimmeAnIntern Summer Internship program, which kicked off yesterday, its new crop of 14 interns will also double up as young guns for hire — for others. Local Chicago businesses, restaurants, sports teams, cultural institutions, artists, musicians and local celebrities are all invited to shout out a task on social media with the #GimmeAnIntern hashtag — and if they strike the right chord, they may get the services of a Havas intern for an hour. The agency is also literally putting its interns on display, with all 14 interns being housed in the Havas Chicago lobby in full view of the agency and the outside world.

“We are looking for those kinds of people who will take those extra leaps and bounds in showing their dedication and passion,” said Heather Hayden, senior talent acquisition manager at Havas Chicago. “This is not only a way to get them immersed in the cultural conversations happening around the city but also broaden their experience while they’re with us and spread the word about how non-traditional Havas Chicago is.”

From the mighty to the mundane, no intern request is too bizarre to be considered by the “Board of Approvers,” consisting of Havas’ chief creative officer Jason Peterson, a couple of intern mentors and Hayden herself. But not all will be approved. The board will weigh the requests against a number of factors, including the requester’s social clout, how unique or interesting the task is, whether it has a charitable aspect and ultimately whether it will be a good learning experience for the interns.

“Our interns are so awesome that we want to show everyone our secret formula,” said Peterson. “And it definitely helps in promoting ourselves.”

If a task is selected, the interns matched with the task will be required to not only go on the mission but also use Periscope to live stream their experiences via the Havas account. They will also document their tasks through their personal and the agency’s social accounts under the #GimmeAnIntern hashtag.

Havas is promoting the program on a Chicago-based startup called Popular Pays, which connects popular social media users with companies, offering hourlong intern assistance to Chicago Instagrammers with 50,000 followers or more. In exchange for the help, they will post #GimmeAnIntern content to their Instagram accounts.

Havas Chicago has been using new and different social platforms to challenge internship candidates since 2013. In March, it used dating app Tinder to seek the perfect match for its summer internship. It also used Instagram to put out eight social media challenges for potential interns via the hashtag #InternFightClub.

Similarly, last winter, it used Instagram and Snapchat to recruit seven new interns for its “Winternship” program. This process is its way to attract quality talent through its doors and combat the talent crisis that has been plaguing agencies for years: Over 50 percent of Havas interns are hired full-time every term, the agency claims.

“My job is to keep our agency on top of how consumers are consuming media,” said Peterson. “And we want them to know that they have as much to teach us as we have to teach them.”

Homepage Image courtesy: Havas Chicago 

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