In the frantic race to find the best talent, it may be time to take a closer look at the approach to selecting your interns. Beyond mere short-term reinforcements, these entrants into the workforce represent a potential that companies all too often underestimate. In this article, we'll elucidate why it's essential to pay special consideration to recruit these individuals and how you can transform them into pivotal assets for your organisation through four key pointers.
1. They breathe new life into your business
Hiring interns will bring a gust of fresh air and innovation into your company. Their fresh perspective and unbridled creativity can breathe new life into your teams. When you take on people who are willing and passionate about what they do, you gain dynamism and multiply your chances of benefiting from an innovative approach to everyday challenges. Remember, a substantial number of these talented young minds can seamlessly transition into full-time employees post their internships. In fact, a staggering 92% of companies express readiness to extend permanent contracts after successful internship experiences, which is why it's so important to recruit carefully from the outset.
Our 3 tips:
- Provide a framework for practices and training in your tools, but remain open to new ways of doing things that the intern can introduce. Embrace their perspectives and innovative ideas.
- Give credit to the ideas and projects of interns: their novice status doesn't equate to "second-rate work". By providing the right resources and support, you might uncover some delightful surprises.
- Engage your teams in reflecting on their experience with the intern: Do they envision a future alongside them? Has there been observable progress since their arrival? Have they introduced new ways of doing things, tools, or techniques?
2. Gain a competitive edge by nurturing your future reliable partners
If you regard the recruitment of interns as a mere formality, you're missing out on a golden opportunity to shape your future employees. Currently, only a few recruiters consider internship programs to be an effective method of pre-recruitment. However, these young professionals are eager to learn and develop. It's time to move beyond the notion of utilising them for menial tasks.
An internship must benefit both parties, so if it needs reminding: the internship arrangements set out in the agreements are not options reserved for a few lucky interns but obligations applicable to all employers! When you consider that half of all companies still see interns as a way of boosting their workforce in the short term, it's evident that the training potentials remain under-appreciated and under-utilised.
By offering them rewarding tasks and appropriate responsibilities, you are preparing them to become the pillars of your company in the near future. A prudent investment in their recruitment can result in a strong and cohesive management team in the years to come.
Our 3 practical tips:
- Establish well-defined tasks and objectives for the placement period, refining and validating them with the interns. This clarity ensures everyone is aligned and working towards common goals.
- Involve them in all aspects of company life: from team lunches to training sessions, works council meetings, strategic discussions, etc. If you want your teams to be cohesive and committed to your interns, ensure they are included!
- Organise regular meetings with the company mentors to assess expectations, tasks and overall experiences. Probe their outlook: Do they envision staying? Do they see a future within the company? Are their tasks and objectives evolving?
3. They become your best ambassadors
Careful and attentive recruitment of your interns is the key to preserving your company's reputation. A bad experience for an intern can quickly spread on social networks or employer review platforms, potentially tarnishing your allure for future prospects. On the other hand, well-integrated and content interns will be the best ambassadors for your employer brand, subsequently attracting new talent your way.
To stack the odds in your favour, start by identifying mentors and establish a dedicated onboarding strategy. When you prioritise the development of your interns, you're crafting a positive narrative that echoes beyond your organisation, boosting your brand's desirability among the upcoming generation of professionals.
Our 3 keys to success
- Put a personalised onboarding strategy and program in place before they take up a functional role.
- Monitor your company's reputation on platforms like Glassdoor to identify areas for improvement in your recruitment processes and HR practices. ;
- Place the candidate experience, human touch and respect at the heart of your recruitment processes: ensure every application receives a response, even if it's an automated email. For every candidate you choose to meet, provide clear reasons for selection or non-selection (even if briefly explained) at the end of the process.
4. Unlock their full potential using psychometric tools
So how do you successfully recruit interns? With 43% of companies facing recruitment challenges due to the complexity of finding the right candidates, where do you find solutions? While a magic formula for securing the future talents of your company during their internship program doesn't exist, there are a few effective tools that can be used to identify high-potential talent.
Psychometric assessments, for one, is a tool that can be a valuable ally. Personality, motivation and cognitive aptitude assessments give you an in-depth view of candidates that goes beyond their CVs. You can assess their compatibility with your corporate culture, commitment level, and key skills. This 360° approach will help you make informed choices and identify individuals that will fit in easily and thrive within your organisation.
Our 3 value-adding tips:
- Evaluate personality and motivation when recruiting: for internship roles, the key to success lies in the alignment of values and expectations rather than purely technical skills.
- Broaden your search criteria: a motivated university student is more likely to thrive in your organisation than someone from a top business school who sees their internship as a mere formality!
- Leverage the assessment results: Capitalise on your interns’ strengths and swiftly spot the areas for improvement using the assessment outcomes.
In conclusion, always remember that interns can be the cornerstone of your company's success. Don't just consider them as temporary recruits but as future leaders and potential employees. Quality recruitment is the foundation for building a dedicated, formidable team that will propel your business to greater achievements. The investment you make in their recruitment today will yield substantial returns in shaping the future of your enterprise.