Hiring and onboarding interns virtually

Hiring interns virtually

Hiring and onboarding are two processes which are truly company-specific. Every organisation has its own culture and way of interacting with their new hires. Here we’ll be talking about how we at Internshala have adapted to the COVID-19 situation in terms of hiring and onboarding. We will also discuss some practices that every company could follow to ensure that the new remote interns feel comfortable and welcome.

Hiring has not changed much over the years. The only step that involves personal interaction is the face-to-face interview which can easily be conducted virtually. At Internshala, we use Hangouts Meet as it saves the hassle of installing Skype and creating a Skype account. Also, Hangouts gives you an option of screen sharing which could be helpful in some cases.

Onboarding, on the other hand, needs a touch of personalisation because you want the new intern to feel welcome and get a chance to meet her manager and teammates. Here are some practices that have proven effective when it comes to a smooth onboarding process – 

1. The first one-to-one The very first step of onboarding is to let your new interns know the company’s mission and values. You may set up a virtual meeting, preferably over a video call. We recommend this to be the first activity of the intern’s first day.

2. Introduction to the intern’s manager and the team It’s very important for the intern to closely know the people she will be working with. This includes individual introduction sessions with the intern’s manager and different team members.

3. Introduction to team leads Apart from knowing her team, an employee needs to know different departments, including their work, team structure, and workflows. The easiest way for this is a quick introductory session with the team leads.

4. Plan an engagement activity All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. You do not want the intern to be bored and exhausted on her very first day. To avoid this, you can plan a fun engagement activity. For example, at Internshala we play a game called ‘Pehchaan Kaun’ in which we give the new intern phone numbers of some of our employees and the intern has to call them up, speak with them, figure out who they are with the help of information available on our ‘Meet the team’ page.

5. Assign them work You do not want the interns to feel that engagement activity and introductions are all they must do. So plan their work and profiles well in advance to ensure they can get started as soon as they are ready.

6. Communicate your expectations The intern needs to know what the company expects from them. To ensure this make sure the intern understands her tasks and goals. Discuss the upcoming projects and work out a schedule for team meetings.

7. Understand what they feel Onboarding can be overwhelming for new interns. While you make all efforts from your end, it is important to understand if the intern is comfortable or if she is facing any problems. Give her a chance to express and be open to feedback.

Following these steps has helped us minimize the impact of COVID-19 on the hiring and onboarding process at Internshala. We are hopeful these will help you too. Do let us know if it does or if there’s anything that you would like to add to it. 

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of hiring and onboarding, let’s dive into the next section – maintaining data security while working from home.

One thought on “Hiring and onboarding interns virtually

  • July 20, 2021 at 4:20 PM

    Very well explained in a very precise manner.


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