How to Onboard Your New Marketing Intern

Posted by Kendrick Wong on May 11, 2017 5:30:12 PM

As the Spring semester concludes, you may find yourself seeing an unfamiliar face occupying space in your place. Congratulations! Your new marketing intern has arrived! However, some assembly is required.

Here's how to onboard your new marketing intern into your team.


Set Expectations

Defining your expectations for your new intern begins well before you actually hire him/her. First, assess what you're doing. What is in the pipeline and who is doing it? 

Next, determine how well you're doing it. What is performing well? What needs improvement? What are your KPIs and what does the historical/current data indicate?

With all of this laid out, you're able to define and communicate the organizational goals your intern will tackle. Try using the SMART goal-setting approach:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Actionable (or Attainable)
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Defining goals establishes expectations. Knowing what you want done allows your team to collaborate and determine strategies/tactics to best achieve these goals. Concrete expectations help remove the uncertainty and ambiguity new employees often face when they start. Here, you’re aiming to build initial momentum and confidence in your new team member.



Identify Workflows

Delineating your marketing workflows is a critical part of examining and setting expectations for your intern. You're aiming to understand how he/she fits into your team before, during, and after the onboarding period.

Identify what needs need to be addressed and what you hope to accomplish in the short-term and future. Where are the painpoints and bottlenecks? How will you go about improving? Who will own each function?


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Understand How You Communicate

Many firms prefer to administer tests and assessments to analyze cultural fit, aptitude, and potential. On the other hand, some experts believe that personality tests can’t accurately predict performance.

A personality test like Myers-Briggs or DISC gives you some context about an individual. However, that test shouldn’t be the only perspective in your understanding of someone. What matters more is how you act on this information to build upon his/her strengths, develop his/her weaknesses and strengthen your team's dynamics over time.

1. Lay out how you and your team usually communicate. How does information flow?

2. Find out how your intern prefers to communicate.

  • Preferred channels (e.g. email, Slack/internal chat, face-to-face, texting, call, Morse code)
  • The style/tone he/she communicates
  • When/where they feel comfortable and uncomfortable communicating

3. Find the balance of accommodation, convenience, and usability.



Launch Your Training 

What needs to be taught and who's teaching it? Keep in mind:

  • Certifications (e.g. Google AdWords, HubSpot Inbound Marketing)
  • Software programs you frequently use (e.g. SalesForce, Adobe Premiere)
  • Internal documentation practices

Gauge familiarity and fluency. What does your intern already know how to do? What’s critical to what you want accomplished? What capabilities are you looking to add to your overall scheme? Compile valuable guides, tutorials (e.g. YouTube walkthroughs), and evergreen learning materials if you’re stretched thin and unable to deliver 1:1 training.



Share Resources

Continually sharing resources with your intern is one of the most important things you can do. Educate your intern with your company's brand guide. This "manifesto" details how you communicate as a professional entity. Don’t have a brand/style guide? There are plenty of tutorials to get started. 

Don't forget your knowledge bases. These are your "go-to" authorities that help you do your job. Maybe they're workplace productivity hacks. Maybe it's a leading publication that examines industry best practices. Whatever it is, share the content to increase your team's marketing intelligence.



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Topics: Internships, Leadership, Onboarding