You’ve put a ton of time and energy into your internship program, and now its time to start evaluating interns before they wrap up their time at your company. It's also time to pick out the top performers and welcome them as full-time employees-to-be…right?
Not so fast.
Just like there are challenges bringing the right interns on board in the first place, getting them to stay on full-time can be even harder if you don’t do it right. Some companies extend offers too easily, wait too long to make a decision, and botch their chances of filling full-time positions for the coming year.
The most important thing you can do before you start the offer process is to be prepared. Here are some steps you should take before you hand out your first offer letter:
Have interns self-review
It’s easy to view the offer process as a two-step affair: extend the offer and see who accepts.
But really, it’s more like a four-step process:
- Have a candidate self-review their performance
- Ask them whether they’d accept a full-time offer if they received one
- Extend offers only to those truly interested
- Onboard those who accept new offers
Self-reflection is important for two reasons. First, it allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your internship program. If an intern’s self-evaluation does not match up with the recruiter’s, then there may be things the person managing that particular intern could have done better.
Second, it allows you to know right off the bat whether or not extending an offer to a particular intern would be a waste of your time. If you know they’re not interested, or have another job lined up from the get-go, you can focus on other candidates instead of chasing leads that are already lost.
Interest is one thing, but will they accept?
If you have a solid internship program, you can expect positive reviews from participants. Unfortunately — and this goes for all job searches — if a candidate is great, you’re probably not the only company they’re looking at when pursuing full-time positions.
How can you tell who’s gung-ho about working for your company? Get straight to the point and ask them: “If I were to offer you a full-time position post-graduation, would you accept?”
By no means is this a job offer — but there’s really no reason to be in the dark as a recruiter in a situation like this. Plain and simple: you need to know if they’ll sign — a speedy process depends on it.
You need more information to get signed offers, no flying blind!
You’ve already invested nearly three months of training in your internship program — don’t let it go to waste! By identifying which interns really want to work for your company before extending offer letters, you can ensure the right people will come onboard, and won’t jump ship.