In a lot of companies, internships are treated like a long job interview. You can bring in fresh recruits, assign them some lower-level tasks, and observe how well they work with other employees. Interns also provide valuable labor and – as is usually the case with student interns — knowledge of the latest trends, ideas, and practices in your industry. Even better, they often work for less pay than full-time employees in return for gaining knowledge and experience.

To help your interns reach their potential and raise their chances at scoring a full-time position with you or another business, it’s important that you take an interest in their performance. Selfishly, it also can’t hurt to have your interns perform well to help you out in your company. Here are some ways that SuccessFactors can help you improve intern performance for everyone’s benefit.

Recruitment

Before your interns can start performing, you need to get them in the door first. Luckily, SuccessFactors has software to help you set up recruitment campaigns and sort through those campaigns to make sure you’re bringing in the best candidates.

Most executives know how long it can take to process applications for any job position. With the increasing competition for entry-level internships, an intern recruitment campaign is no different. While a small business may do fine assigning one or two employees to sift through fifty internship applications, a larger company may find unautomated recruitment more trouble than it’s worth.

Instead of setting aside employee time and labor to search through hundreds – even thousands – of applications, you can use SuccessFactors to get the process moving for you. Its Recruiting Management framework helps you automate resume sorting, employee referrals, and interview processes, taking out a lot of the busywork associated with hiring your next great intern.

Collaboration

Once your interns begin their work, you can help improve their performance by helping them work with other employees. Interns will learn more quickly and perform better when they have mentors, so giving them a chance to work alongside your full-timers can only help them learn the ropes more quickly and thoroughly.

In fact, studies have shown that communication is the biggest predictor of a person’s success in an organization, so promoting collaboration between interns and employees is likely to improve their performance across the board.

SuccessFactors’ collaboration tools can help you set up open lines of communication between your interns and your full-time workers to help with the learning process. SAP Jam Collaboration allows users to share and annotate files, set up public and private groups to discuss projects, structure group brainstorming sessions, and more.

Analytics for Evaluation

In order to improve an intern’s performance, you’ll need to know how well they’re performing in the first place. And in order to evaluate an intern’s performance, you’ll need a way to measure it.

By setting metrics to measure your interns’ performance levels, you can objectively figure out what areas need improvement. Without an objective basis for your interns’ performance, it will be difficult to figure out how to help them improve or what they’re doing well.

To help with this, SuccessFactors can take internal, organizational data and records and create easy-to-understand reports on each employee’s strengths and weaknesses based on company goals and milestones. The Reporting and Analytics features allow you to diagnose potential problems your interns are having, fast-tracking you on the path to fixing those problems.

At that point, you can target certain issues that your interns are struggling with to help them improve their performance overall.

Feedback

Once you evaluate your interns’ strengths and weaknesses, it’s important to provide them with feedback so they know how to improve.

Providing feedback will help with your ROI, as well – employers who regularly provide good feedback to employees are three times less likely to have their employees consider leaving the company. This means less employee turnover, fewer resources spent on training new people, and an overall more positive company culture that will help your interns perform better.

Many employers don’t provide feedback to their interns because they simply don’t have the time. Luckily, the SuccessFactors Feed-bck extension lets your interns request feedback when they need it, as well as rate the feedback you provide. This helps you pick and choose the feedback you give, saving you time, and makes sure that the feedback you’re giving is helpful. You shouldn’t ignore your interns who may be too shy to ask you for feedback, but this system will help you pinpoint the ones who need it the most.

With the ever-increasing popularity of entry-level internships, it’s important that you set up an internship program that’s beneficial to both the interns and your company. By taking care to improve intern performance with the help of SuccessFactors, you can set up a mutually productive relationship that can only benefit your ROI.

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