Evaluate and Transition Your Intern
You’ve hired, onboarded and trained your intern, so what’s next?
The key to continued success with your internship program is to provide timely, relevant and constructive feedback to your intern so they can work toward continuous improvement. The evaluation process will benefit your intern, your organization, and your bottom line! Plus, you’re positioning your supervisors to create strong professional relationships with your intern, which will improve their overall experience.
Why is this important? If you decide to transition your intern, they will already have a mentor in your organization, understand your organization’s culture and values, and will reach peak productivity faster. I’ll say it again, this will benefit your intern, your organization, and your bottom line!
This all is as simple as two steps: monitoring to provide feedback and transitioning to permanent employment.
Monitor, Evaluate and Provide Feedback
Help the intern improve by providing feedback throughout the internship program.
There are two forms of support that you can provide to your intern:
Real-Time Feedback—Positive and constructive comments provided by direct supervisors regarding day-to-day activities and achievements.
Formal, Documented Evaluation—Feedback provided at specific intervals during the internship to inform the intern of higher-level decisions, ideas and suggestions regarding overall progress.
Providing real-time feedback regarding the effectiveness and professionalism of the intern is critical to their overall success and will help inform future improvements and adjustments to be made to the program.
Real-time feedback will be informal and support the intern’s improvement in their technical skills and promotes personal growth by allowing the intern to adjust their work ethic as needed to perform more efficiently. This feedback, when delivered appropriately, will help shape their trajectory within the position and organization.
Formal, documented evaluation must be consistent for all interns and should take place at specific intervals during the internship. The most common times for evaluation are at the midpoint and conclusion of the program. However, this is left to the discretion of the organization and its leadership Before the internship begins, discuss what is the most effective use of evaluations with your team and communicate the evaluation schedule to your intern during orientation.
Both real-time feedback and formal evaluations are needed to support the maximum progression of the intern and program.
Final Evaluation and Review of the Intern
With the outlined job description, expectations and goals in mind, the intern should be monitored throughout the program and, at a minimum, formally evaluated at the conclusion of the program to assess the success of the program, intern and supervisor.
The supervisor or leadership team should be discussing the following with the intern:
- Performance as outlined by the job description
- Additional training, as required
- Review of expectations and how the intern assimilated
- Positive feedback on successes
- Review of areas for improvements
Final Evaluation and Review of the Program
As the intern finishes the program, your organization should consider successes and possible improvements observed over the internship period. This information can help inform decisions regarding the enhancement of speed, cost, training and effectiveness of future internships. Your organization’s ability to improve from past experiences will be critical to the ongoing success of an established internship program.
Additionally, your organization should consider if there is room and the need to increase the number of internships offered available at specific a time, and if there is, what new roles could be included in the future.
Transition to Permanent Employment
Extend a full-time employment offer to your intern and assist with official on-boarding.
Determine the Transition Process
It is important to consider how transition decisions will be evaluated, documented, communicated, and who will be the decision makers prior to the conclusion of the program. Frequently, direct supervisors are involved with for transition decisions.
Review Evaluations & Feedback
Using the evaluations completed by the supervisor and the feedback that the intern has provided, you can determine if the intern’s performance was satisfactory and should lead to an offer of full-time employment.
Communicate the Employment Offer
If an intern will be extended a full-time offer, define what compensation range, benefits, and position you will be offering prior to communicating with the intern. Typically, transitioning an intern to a permanent employee will include an increase in compensation, level and/or benefits as they will no longer be performing limited roles focused on learning. At this time, you can also decide if any additional onboarding is necessary to ensure a smooth transition.
If it is determined that the intern will not be offered permanent employment, consider what other opportunities you could encourage the intern to participate in within your organization, if any. It is considered best practice to offer direct, honest communication to the intern to help them understand the decision process for determining that full-time employment was not going to be offered. This is especially important if you consider the intern to be an asset, but hiring is not possible currently. If applicable, provide support and encouragement in helping them find opportunities elsewhere.
With both the competition and growing need for talented workforce increasing, internships allow for opportunities to recruit and retain individuals in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. There is an intern to fit your every need at every level of education and experience.
Ready to get started? Refer to our free Employer Guide to take you step-by-step through the development process. Have questions? Email Taylor Davis, the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership Director, at Taylor@WichitaFallsChamber.com.