Keeping the Interns-Turned-New-Hires Engaged Until Day 1
Internships provide a great opportunity for employers to work with talented students while getting a feel or learning about potential candidates to fill positions within an organization. For the right fit, internships end with an offer letter. When that is accepted, what’s the best way to keep them excited and interested in your organization until Day 1 of employment? How do you keep them engaged so they feel welcomed, unforgotten, and in touch with the connections they made over the summer?
Swag is an easy way to remind them that they’re part of the team (the latest technology items are HOT!), but that’s not the only way.
Touchpoints throughout the months leading to Day 1 are gaining popularity, and are a great way to keep them engaged and show them you care. Some ways you can do this:
Keep them updated on company milestones, events and other important news sporadically as newsworthy shares arise or on a schedule. Include them in the company mailing list so they'll stay up to date on the latest news.
Send them a “Good Luck on Finals” care package (for both semesters or all quarters). They're stressed about exams. Give them a nice treat that says you're thinking of them. For those facing the bar or CPA exam, send them a “Study for Exam Survival Kit” care package. Remember to congratulate them upon graduation and surprise them with a graduation gift.
Provide opportunities to make them feel welcome and meet future colleagues. For those who are within commuting distance to your office location: (i) If your firm has a community service day, open the invitation to them so they can participate alongside current employees, (ii) Invite them for informal lunches, happy hours or coffees, (iii) Ask them if they want to shadow senior management for a day. For those who are not within commuting distance to your office location: (i) Arrange for informal virtual gatherings where they can see the more casual (fun) side of your company and get a chance to meet current employees and/or re-connect with other interns-turned-new-hires, (ii) Offer opportunities where they can get some time (virtually) meeting senior management, (iii) Invite them to (virtual) seminars that are relevant to the firm that other colleagues are attending
Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to stay connected and engaged with these Interns-Turned-New-Hires on a regular basis up until Day 1 so on Day 1 they feel welcome, know some people, have a feel for firm culture and simply don’t feel overwhelmed or like a stranger.