How to manage your interns

Make sure you know how to manage interns 

Working with interns is a mutually beneficial arrangement, especially in today’s competitive job market. If you want to hire the best, you must find the best. And a great way to discover the best new talent is through an internship program. For many organizations, internships are now considered extended job interviews. This temporary work arrangement allows organizations to test out potential employees while also introducing them to the requirements of the job. An organization can spot and acquire new talent as the person is just starting out on their career.

Thoughtful internship management can benefit any company that prioritizes proactive hiring. Interns are typically current or recent students eager to work in a challenging environment and share their new skills and insights. 

One critical aspect of intern management is aligning internships' structure with your organisations' intentions. Successful intern management ensures that both interns and your company understand the nature of the working relationship and that all members of your organisation treat interns fairly.

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Tips for managing interns: Here are several tips for managing your interns productively:

Provide a good start - Provide Orientation Some interns have little experience in corporate or professional settings. They likely want to make the best impression possible and avoid any breaches of professional conduct. To make your new interns feel comfortable and confident in their roles, host an orientation to clarify what your organization expects of them and what they can expect from you. During an orientation you might discuss:

Company Culture

Your organization may have a unique approach to company culture, or it may simply have professional policies, such as casual Fridays, that interns benefit from understanding at the start. Your organization can better determine if there's potential for a future relationship if the intern integrates well into your workplace.

Communication Culture

Communication standards are important to review with new professionals. Explain the protocols and standards your company follows in emails and electronic communications so your interns can confidently interact with your company's other employees.

Key contacts

Interns are likely curious who they should approach with questions or human resources issues. Providing the names and contact information of important personnel eliminates any confusion as to who interns can rely on for help.

Set Objectives

An orientation is the ideal time to state what you hope to see interns achieve by the end of their experience. You can also ask if there are any roles or aspects of your organization the interns would like to learn about during their time with you.

Prepare Supporting Documents

Your organization likely supervises interns to make sure they understand their tasks and have all the help they need. However, when interns work independently, well-prepared documents can further eliminate any confusion or uncertainty surrounding an assignment.


Deliver a good internship experience - be organised and flexible

Embrace flexibility

While internships benefit from thoughtful planning, remaining flexible about the exact details of the experience can allow your interns and your organization to have a better overall exchange of time and effort. Ask your interns about their strengths, academic work and professional aspirations to determine if you can make any adjustments to align your program with interns' individual abilities.

Communicate proactively

Some interns might need time to feel comfortable within their roles. If you notice an intern is experiencing challenges, approach them to see if there's any way you can help them succeed. They are likely to appreciate your consideration. If there is no simple solution, communicating proactively with your manager is also important.

Schedule check-ins

Check-ins are a valuable opportunity for you and your interns to discuss their progress. During a check-in, you can listen to the interns' feedback and offer them yours. Having a set time and place to review how an internship is going eases much of the anxiety interns might feel about raising concerns. Weekly checkins are recomended.

Offer mentorship

Facilitating mentorship in an internship means you inquire about and support interns' professional ambitions. Mentors who establish powerful connections with interns can better assess their talents and potential, informing your company's decision about whom eventually to hire.

Connect tasks and results

Experienced employees typically understand the connection between their daily tasks and the larger organization. This relationship might be less clear to interns. You can help them appreciate how the work they learn about and assist with benefits the organization by reviewing workflows and organizational charts. When providing instructions and task lists, consider writing an explanation of how each assignment creates value for the company.

Emphasize good examples

Interns rely on the example you and your colleagues set when navigating the workplace. Make sure you pair interns with the colleagues that best represent your company and its values. Modeling a consistently professional and positive example also boosts the likelihood that interns would want to apply for a full-time position with your organization.

Make the experience fun

Young professionals value companies that promote a healthy work/life balance and create enjoyable working environments. Share how your company boostIf appropriate, consider inviting interns to social functions outside of the workplace so they can better get to know your team.s employee satisfaction with your interns.

Conduct exit interviews

Just as an orientation helps you start internships, exit interviews help you properly close them. An exit interview serves for you to collect information about what your interns valued about their experiences and what they wish had been different. Encourage interns to offer ideas for your company to make a more rewarding.

Implement improvements

With each intern, your organization can better understand the skills and knowledge entry-level professionals want to learn before searching for full-time employment. By continually reviewing your internships, you can create an experience that provides more value to interns and your company.

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