From Intern to Employee – How HR Can Help with the Transition

Internships are a mutually beneficial working arrangement. The intern gets valuable on-the-job experience and you get additional manpower. Ideally, you’ll bring the intern on as a permanent employee who’s already familiar with operations. When it comes to making the transition, there are a few ways HR can help an individual go from intern to employee.


Provide the Necessary Resources

A person will have significantly more on their plate as a regular employee than they did as an intern. They’ll have more responsibilities and higher expectations. In order to position them for success, it’s important that HR provides them with the additional training needed to thrive in their new position. For instance, your HR team could create a “digital hub” of instructional videos, articles and other resources that an employee can access 24/7.


Give them Meaningful Work

The last thing you want to do is insult the intelligence of your new employee and sell them short. Assigning them menial tasks can create resentment and a lack of engagement. If an intern has proven that they’re worth promoting, then it’s safe to say that they can handle new challenges.

A 2014 study by Millennial Branding and Randstad found, “55 percent of younger Generation Z employees were motivated by projects they cared about.” It’s HR’s responsibility to assess the unique skills and talents of each employee and assign them relevant tasks that enable them to put their abilities to use. Give them some room for growth and a chance to prove themselves.


Assign a Mentor

Even though an intern turned employee knows the basics of how your company works, they may become overwhelmed in their new position. They’ll inevitably have questions and need guidance. One of the best things you can do is assign one of your leaders to serve as a mentor. This person will give them the one-on-one attention needed to streamline the transition and iron out any kinks along the way. Keep personality in mind, and try to set them up with a mentor who is compatible.


Don’t Micromanage

You’ll obviously want your HR team to help new employees get acclimated and learn the essentials. You’ll also want managers to provide them with direction to increase their likelihood of success. What you don’t want is anyone to micromanage an intern turned employee.

This can have a host of negative consequences like making an employee feel incompetent, undervalued and fearful. It might also hinder their progress because they’ll end up second-guessing their every move. Encourage company leaders to find a nice balance between giving direction and letting a new employee find their own way.

Going from intern to employee is an exciting promotion but comes with inherent challenges. By having your HR team ease the transition, your new employees will have fewer obstacles in their way and can be firing on all cylinders in less time. Not only does this increase the likelihood of success for your new employee, it should positively impact your company as a whole.


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