PEO Problem Solvers: Graduating Interns to New Hires

Internships are a great way to find talent for your company. More than 67 percent of interns were given a job offer stemming from their internship at a company, and a whopping three-quarters of those given the offer ultimately accepted. With these statistics in mind, you know that there is a lot of potential to transform these interns into real-life employees – and make it a significant part of your recruiting efforts and ultimately your employee pipeline.

But how do you actually take the leap to transform them from your interns to your newest star employee – and what role can a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) like Abel HR play in making this process run smoothly?

The key to success is to plan to transform the top interns into employees and establish a transition program before you ever even launch your internship program. This plan is based on the concept that you should treat your interns as if they already are full-time employees, and thus should ensure that they have access to all the learning opportunities and stretch roles that a traditional employee should.

Find The Perfect Intern – Find The Perfect Employee
Your interns have the potential to be your employee pipeline, so you’ll want to have a process in place up front to weed out the good from the bad! Abel HR can help from the beginning by working with you to identify where you might be able to leverage an intern, building a job description that piques the interest of the most talented potential interns, conducting resume screens, and even doing first-round phone interviews so that you only have to interview the cream of the crop.

Pay Attention To Those Who Show Interest
Folks who come in and get their work done are great, but those who ask questions about how they might fit into the company or what the career ladder looks like in a specific role are clearly interested in joining your crew. A PEO can help by making sure you have a clear corporate vision that includes details on how the various jobs intersect, how folks typically advance through the ranks, and what they need to accomplish in order to move up so that you can answer these questions and begin laying the groundwork for them to come aboard.

Offer Training
As we noted above, one of the keys to transitioning an intern to an employee is being able to offer them training opportunities over the course of their internship that lay the groundwork for them to become employees. The more they can learn and grow in the internship role, the easier it is for them to hit the ground running once they do become a bona fide worker. At Abel, we can offer role-specific training opportunities, industry-specific programs, and even briefings on your corporate culture or other facets of your company. The pros at Abel HR can even help you establish a timeline – based on your preferences – to roll out all of these pieces of training in a way that makes sense for you and your employees.

Establish A Performance Review Process
If you are hoping that your interns are going to become employees, you need to have an objective way to measure their performance to ensure that once they come on board, they will be capable of generating good results for your company. A PEO such as Abel HR can create a performance grid from scratch – or customize an existing one – to best reflect your expectations for what an intern should be able to accomplish and under which timeframe.

Actually Interview Them
It may seem silly to interview someone who is already in your office, but they should still go through the formal interview process if you are planning to hire them as a full-time employee. Since they already have the inside track on your business – and some clear insight into the role – your interview questions should shift to best capture what they have learned through this experience, how they are applying their education to their role, what they hope to gain by staying on from the company, and what they actually expect a job at your company to look like. In asking these sorts of questions, you can understand what their priorities are and whether you can both manage and meet expectations. Abel HR can help you craft the questions that count and talk through your findings and if you’re on the fence to determine whether a second interview with more targeted questions can help you to make a decision.

Consider Your Compensation
If you’ve snagged yourself a good intern, chances are any number of businesses would be all too happy to snap them up, especially now that they’ve got a bit of experience under their belt. In order to be competitive, you need to have a compensation package that you are proud of AND that can stand up to pressure from your peers. Abel HR can help by analyzing data on regional and industry standards to find a compensation rate that everyone will be happy with, as well as determining what you can pay now and how it will grow over time with benefits that make your company stand out from the competition for the long-term.

To learn more about how Abel HR can make human resources easy and help you with your intern program, download our resource guide.