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Onboarding New Tech Interns: 7 Tips You Must Follow For Effective Management

  • By Kamlesh Ranjan
  • March 6, 2024
  • 5 mins read
Onboarding new tech interns tips
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    We all know when we onboard a new tech intern to our office, it’s not just a hasty thing to do. It’s a strategic move that can positively impact productivity and your company’s overall culture. In addition, it’s important to onboard new tech interns because they bring fresh persptectives and ideas, they somewhat fill entry-level positions, and they provide senior employees with opportunities to practice their leadership skills. Additionally, interns create a talent pool for future hiring needs.

    Reports from staffing and research firms such as Foundit and HFS Research predict that IT hiring, including entry-level positions like internships, will increase by 5-9% year over year in 2024. Interns are often hired through universities, professional competitions, and partnerships with educational institutions. However, it’s important to develop a thoughtful onboarding strategy to get the most out of your new employees. With so many students starting internships or new jobs, an effective onboarding process for new tech interns is key. Let’s explore some ways to onboard new tech interns successfully.

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    Set Expectation

    It is important to remember that when hiring tech interns, they also have their own goals and objectives. They are there to gain valuable experience and knowledge. It is good to think about the important tasks and responsibilities that the intern will be handling in advance. 

    Integrating interns into your workplace culture as soon as possible is also essential. One way to achieve this is by sending an introductory email with instructions, adding them to a Slack channel, or hosting a webinar to inform them about your company’s rules and regulations. Communication is key: make sure to let them know your working hours, office attire, and your expectations.

    It is worth noting that the length of an internship can vary from one month to three to four months. If you are unable to provide your intern with meaningful tasks and responsibilities, it may negatively impact their experience, and they may choose to leave the internship. 

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    Provide hope of learning

    Feeling confused and anxious during the first few days is a common experience for new interns. We all have gone through it! A well-structured onboarding process for new tech interns can alleviate these fears. To achieve this, provide them with a detailed schedule of activities for the first week, including team member introductions, training sessions, and office tours. 

    Also, assign a mentor or buddy to guide them through tasks, answer their questions, and provide insight into your company culture. You can also give them hope by explaining that your internship program focuses on teaching interns front-end applications in JavaScript. They can rest assured that they will be comfortable using JS in real-world scenarios by the end of their internship. 

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    By identifying practical skills that they can put into practice, you can keep them motivated and focused on achieving success in line with your business goals. A comprehensive onboarding process helps tech interns understand their role within the organization and encourages them to be engaged from day one until they complete their learning on time. 

    Open communication 

    Are you hesitant to talk to new employees? I mean, I am. To make interns more productive and help them learn independently, they need to communicate effectively with the company’s employees. However, it can be challenging for young interns to communicate with senior employees, especially in teams where personal connections and corporate hierarchies are firmly established. Interns may feel reluctant to share their opinions and concerns for fear of being inexperienced or lacking knowledge. To address this, it’s essential to create a culture of open communication where interns feel comfortable sharing ideas and asking questions. 

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    One way to support interns is by assigning them a mentor who can introduce them to leading professionals in the company and guide them in communicating effectively with colleagues they need to work with. Regular check-ins with managers provide a platform for interns to discuss their progress, seek advice, and receive feedback. It’s important to maintain respect and professionalism between interns and senior employees at all times.

    Don’t put yourself ahead of the interns

    This is a short point but an important one. The most common complaint from interns is that senior managers at the companies they intern with suffer from “star disease.” They often make interns feel like they are “extra,” “zero,” or “mediocre.” It is essential to note that in most cases, it’s not the intern’s fault but rather the veterans’ forgetting what it’s like to start a career or professional journey. 

    Organize Breakfast or Lunch

    During the interview, your intern made a great first impression, and you are satisfied with the results of their summer work. Now, it’s your turn to make a good first impression. As new interns may be shy and hesitant to interact with people they don’t yet know, it’s essential to organize an ice-breaking session to help them get to know each other better.

    Providing breakfast or lunch for the interns on their first day can also help them settle into the job in a relaxed and sociable atmosphere. Offering a welcome pack and snacks will make them feel appreciated and welcomed. Additionally, occasional team lunches are a great way to boost employee morale and create a friendly atmosphere in the office. These lunches are also crucial for interns to integrate into the office culture.

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    It’s important to engage in non-work conversations during lunch breaks. In this way, these small breaks are not routine, and they show how enjoyable the office environment can be.

    Assign meaningful work

    Tech Interns are a valuable asset to any team. When you onboarding new tech interns, keep in mind they are eager to learn and contribute, so it is essential to assign them meaningful tasks that align with their skills and interests. For instance, if your intern is studying computer science, it wouldn’t make sense to ask them to fill out a spreadsheet. Instead, leverage their strengths and offer them projects that match their skills and career aspirations.

    However, it is equally important not to give interns the same tasks repeatedly, as this can become tedious and discourage them from putting in their best effort. To ensure that your interns are engaged and motivated, communicate with them regularly and understand their interests. Try to assign them roles that they will enjoy and where they can learn and grow.

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    It’s also crucial to balance the workload and provide challenging assignments that stretch their abilities. When they complete a task, recognize their efforts and celebrate their successes to strengthen their sense of belonging and purpose within your organization.

    Provide growth opportunities and constant support 

    It’s important to stay in touch with your interns on a regular basis to ensure they are on the right track. You don’t have to schedule formal meetings every time. Even small interactions, such as a casual conversation or words of encouragement, can go a long way. Interns are eager to learn and gain experience, so providing them with opportunities to grow and develop their skills can greatly enhance their time at your company. Host workshops and seminars where they can learn new skills and industry trends and gain insights from experienced professionals. You can also offer cross-functional projects to help them expand their knowledge.

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    If you’re too busy to communicate with your intern, assign someone to look after them and reach out to them as soon as possible. Don’t ignore them or make them feel unwelcome. Even if they cannot be available immediately, let them know when you will be available to talk. When you do have the opportunity to speak with your intern, encourage them to ask questions because that’s how they learn and grow. If you seem unapproachable, the intern may stop asking questions altogether, which can negatively affect their work.

    In the End

    Onboarding new tech interns is not a big deal, but by keeping in mind all the points given above, you can make your onboarding process smooth and friendly for newcomers. If the intern feels happy in your workspace, then they will be more productive and benefit the company’s business objective. And try to give them what they deserve in the stipend…

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