What place should be given to the new intern on your team?

La formation des tuteurs de stage, élément essentiel pour une bonne intégration.

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The passage of Claire DEspagne in the podcast “Freedom of entrepreneurship” has, to say the least, made people talk. “There are schools that tell us, ‘If I find out that my intern is doing more than 35 hours a week, I'll stop the internship'. Well, it's going to be tough on your intern. Me, if I don't work 80 hours a week, there's very little chance that I'll have my apartment, a second home, and another one afterwards. » In the same sequence, since removed from the internet, the entrepreneur at the head of the cosmetics brand D + for care was indignant: “One wonders where are the interns? »complaining of not succeeding in the current period in recruiting.

If she does not clearly call on interns to work 80 hours a week, one is tempted to believe that it crosses her mind. This opinion caused a reaction, but in the end, is it so marginal? Without going to consider such extremes, we have all seen or heard interns being used to the limit by struggling companies or managers convinced that each intern had to suffer as he had suffered. The Instagram accounts your start-up and others have widely reported on situations that are delicate to say the least.

Do not recruit a trainee on technical skills: what to expect from him?

Beyond the schedules of the trainees (which, it should be remembered, is framed by law: 35 hours per week), the controversy of Claire DEspagne brings to the fore the legitimate expectations of these reinforcements who have not yet graduated. Do we want a helping hand or a ready-to-use quasi-employee? The replacement of an employee on a permanent contract or a student who would bring the most recent academic knowledge to a sector?

At Decathlon, which welcomed 2,318 trainees in 2021, the rule is clear: we do not recruit on skills. “We give young people a chance, without diplomas and without experience”assures Kamel Medjabra, head of the employer brand & relations of Decathlon with schools.

This openness is not without asking questions: what do we have the right to expect from a trainee if we do not recruit him on the basis of technical skills? We then come to the famous chapter of soft skills (“human” skills, we would say in English). The recruiters interviewed say they have no doubt that trainees from such and such a fine school will be able to learn quickly. The challenge is to know if they will show curiosity, autonomy, analysis. There will be the real expectations.

Taking on responsibilities but adapting expectations: the impossible balance?

Here, once integrated into the teams, regardless of their type of contract, we swear that the trainee becomes a collaborator like the others. “We expect him to give his opinion and contribute to the projects”adds the manager whose company came first in the HappyTrainees 2022 ranking (in the category of more than 1,000 trainees per year) which distinguishes the companies that best integrate trainees.

But putting the trainee in such a position is not done without support. At Decathlon, as at Capgemini, which came third in the same ranking, internship tutors are trained. “They have an obligation to help trainees acquire new skills and give them real responsibilities, while having appropriate expectations in terms of investment”explains Emmanuel Legros, director of recruitment for the digital services company.

And what about the rhythm? Are these companies more on the side of Claire DEspagne and the 80 hours or the labor inspectorate and the 35 hours? Because if we consider trainees as permanent employees, should we expect them to work as much? “No particular differencethey say on the side of Decathlon, but we ensure that the pace and the workload do not become indigestible. » In fact, the in-between is never easy to find and in the daily life of open spaces, managers wonder if they should give more or less to their trainee.

Same rights and duties as a CDI

Capgemini's recruitment director recognizes that teleworking does not help supervision. “It is easier to control the schedules when the trainees are on site”, he acknowledges. However, there is no question of granting fewer privileges to these almost-employees. All benefit from the same advantages as permanent employees, between 20 and 70% teleworking per week, depending on the type of project. “In return, we maintain the level of requirement on the quality of the deliverables, as well as on their deadline”insists Emmanuel Legros.

No otherworldliness, we stay in the world of objectives. The intern must somehow rise to the company's standards. The internship remains a means of testing a potential employee. For end-of-studies interns (but also work-study students), Decathlon creates a “mercato” to try to match the profiles to be hired with the needs of the teams.

Making interns feel that the company is thinking about them is probably one of the best ways to motivate them. In this sports brand, 30% of end-of-study internships are transformed into permanent jobs. A figure that rises to 70% at Capgemini. It remains to be seen whether this is what all interns are looking for?

Don't miss the other episodes of the series “Where are the trainees?” »

Monday, May 23: When the internship hurts our career

Tuesday, May 24: Instructions for not being exploited as an intern


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