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Setting up Interns to Become Full-Time Employees

Great interns can become great employees down the line. Promoting interns who’ve already proven to be a promising fit can also help your organization reduce recruiting costs. We explore some best practices for setting up strong interns on a path to become entry-level employees at your organization.

Take Internship Hiring Seriously

It’s important to hire interns with the same rigor that you hire full-time staff. Expectations are different for intern hiring of course, but taking the time to consider your internship candidates carefully can help you bring on promising new additions.

Not sure what questions to ask your intern in an interview? Be sure to check out our article Five Questions You Should Be Asking Your Potential Interns.

Consider Internships Like a Long-Form Candidate Exercise

Assessing your interns during their internship is a great way to gain insights into their potential fit for a full-time role and their performance. Think about coaching conversations, performance check-ins and training with interns as a long-term investment and as opportunities to grow your interns professionally specifically for your organization. Hiring an intern who already knows your administrative protocol, their way around the office and their fellow colleagues can save you a lot of time later on.

Offer Mentorship

In addition to managing your intern’s work and offering feedback on professional development, it can be beneficial to discuss their long term career goals and interests. With mentorship, interns can feel a vested interest from the organization and may be more likely to take on a full-time position in the future.

Provide Networking Opportunities

Networking can help interns build professional connections and expand their knowledge of the sector. As appropriate, invite interns along to meetings with other staff, clients or partners. It can be a valuable experience even if they are just sitting in or taking notes. Additionally, consider having interns tag-along to events or presentations.

Another way to provide interns with an opportunity to make connections within the organization is to encourage them to job shadow employees in departments or teams they are interested in. Understanding the larger organizational goals and the different kinds of opportunities available can be invaluable as they determine their next steps.

Stay Connected

When a season ends, make sure to maintain a relationship with interns that you would like to hire for full-time opportunities. Taking an interest can demonstrate your commitment to interns and influence the likelihood they accept a full-time offer. A simple email, invitation for coffee or holiday card from the office are all great ways to stay in touch.

We hope these ideas are helpful as you continue recruiting and developing your interns. Have any experience hiring interns for your organization? Drop us a message and share your learnings at idealistorgs@idealist.org.

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