Tag Archives: internal promotion

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.



Why it Pays to Develop Existing Employees

At some point, you’re likely to be faced with an important business decision: Hire from within and develop existing employees or hire externally and bring in someone from the outside.

In other words, should you build it or buy it? Although every situation is different, developing existing employees is often your best move for several reasons.


It Makes Sense Financially

Hiring externally can be costly. More specifically, research from Recruiterbox found, “The total cost of hiring one new employee could be as high as $5,000 or more, in a professional or manufacturing industry. Even hiring a new employee in a services-related industry typically costs more than $1,000.”

Promoting from within is usually far more cost-effective because you can eliminate recruitment fees, job advertisements, sign on bonuses and so on. There’s also the issue of salary.

According to Matthew Bidwell, management professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, “External hires have higher exit rates, and they are paid ‘substantially more.’ About 18% to 20% more.” When you look at the big picture, you can literally save tens of thousands of dollars by promoting from within.


Internal Employees Perform Better on Average

Bidwell also states, “External hires get significantly lower performance evaluations for their first two years on the job than do internal workers who are promoted into similar jobs.” Forbes even found, “External hires were 61 percent more likely to be fired from their new jobs than were those who had been promoted from within the firm.”

Maybe it’s due to a sense of entitlement, which translates into diminished work ethic. Maybe it’s because of the inherent learning curve that’s associated with many jobs. Or maybe it’s simply because it takes time to build legitimate team chemistry. Whatever the reason, research across the board indicates that internal employees outperform external hires considerably.


Boost Workplace Morale

A high level of workplace morale can have a host of positive benefits for your company and overall brand. Some specific advantages include:

  • Employees are satisfied for the most part
  • They’re more engaged
  • There’s less absenteeism and tardiness
  • There’s a lower turnover rate
  • Operations are more efficient and productive


The list goes on. When you develop existing employees, it shows that you have a vested interest in your workforce. You want to see them succeed. By giving current staff an opportunity to work their way up the ladder, it provides them with an incentive and there’s a legitimate opportunity for growth.

This can have a tremendous impact on workplace morale and tends to lead to highly satisfied employees who are in it for the long haul. On the other hand, external hires tend to be less loyal and may easily jump at the first opportunity that comes their way.

Keep these points in mind if you’re ever faced with the decision to develop existing employees or hire externally. While it’s impossible to say for sure if internal promotion will work out, a solid body of data suggests that this is usually the smartest move.