Onboarding, Recruiting

Turning Interns into Full-Time Employees: A Q&A with Claudia Johnson of Addison Group

Your company just spent the entire summer preparing interns for the real world of work by teaching them institutional knowledge and showing them how your company goes about doing business. Instead of wasting your time with job ads and social media searches, employers and L&D professionals would be wise to tap into this newly minted talent pool to look for workers to fill the void.interns

So how do you figure out which intern made the cut and which one needs more schooling? Claudia Johnson, Director of Internal Recruiting at Addison Group, is here to help. In the following Q&A, Johnson helps offer more insight into turning interns into employees.

L&D Daily Advisor (LDDA): How does an employer gauge the quality of an intern?

Johnson: In order to assess the quality of an intern, there are many factors to consider. The value and quality of an intern typically translate to how much the new hire is contributing to the company’s success.

In sales and recruiting specifically, we have established goals that are very tangible for a new hire to achieve. Metrics are an effective way to keep your new hires on a measurable track while providing them with an opportunity to showcase their intrinsic traits of drive and self-motivation.

LDDA: If an intern is a good fit for the company, how would you advise an employer to go about offering the candidate a full-time position?

Johnson: Should these interns prove successful, the company should conduct a thorough interview. As the rate of unemployment remains incredibly low, the overall engagement process should be involved sooner rather than later.

This provides the candidate with a sense of commitment from the firm while continuing to learn the everyday work flow of the position. In this economic climate, we need to practice more candidate engagement and mentorship than ever before.

LDDA: How does an employer know its internship program was successful?

Johnson: Establishing best practices for your interns is pivotal to the success of the program and to the ability to retain them for long-term employment. If they do not feel they are given the proper tools, guidance, and structure in order to be successful on the job, they will likely look elsewhere for a permanent position.

Candidates want to feel the accomplishment of the “win” during the internship so they have the confidence and determination to continue as full-time employees. Culture will always prevail, so hopefully that box was “checked” from day one as well.

LDDA: What other advice would you give employers that are looking to keep their interns on full time?

Johnson: College graduates are typically well-educated in the selection process and will want to explore all options before making that final commitment. Having a succession plan in place that is attainable and measurable, along with proper leadership, is a recipe for success.