🧐Top 10 skills to gain during your HR internship

Published by Yuliya Rybalova on

HR Internship skills

HR in the first place is about people. When a certain company is hiring for an HR internship, the competition may be quite high. 

It would be great if a candidate has good communication skills, empathy, proactivity, and curiosity.

We noticed some questions on Quora related to the HR internship, such as this or this one, we would like to underline that internship is a time for you to learn and gain the necessary practical skills, so it is ok if you do not have experience yet.

However, curiosity can be the key ingredient in your road to a successful Internship program.

You can compensate for the lack of experience with some basic knowledge by researching multiple topics, such as “how to source candidates”, “how to negotiate during an interview”, “HR tools”, “HR challenges”,  “what are the basic HR metrics to follow”.

Top 10 things to learn

This information would be helpful during the recruitment process and the whole internship program. Here is the list of skills to gain and develop during an HR internship program.

1. Communication skills 

You are applying to a Human Resources internship, so you need to communicate with different types of people: candidates; your team members; your manager; stakeholders; other teams. 

During your internship, you will definitely learn about effective communication, solving conflict situations, and building communication to achieve common team goals. Pay attention to other colleagues, make notes on different situations and how they have been solved.

2. Knowledge on how to use LinkedIn, Facebook, GitLab for candidate search

There is high competition between candidates for a job position and between companies for a candidate that fits the company’s expectations. Some companies set KPIs on how many candidates you need to contact per week or month, how many interviews need to be set up etc.

Therefore, if you are applying for the HR internship, you can learn about the below-mentioned topic to expand your understanding and put it later into practice. You can just make research on the following topics: 

  • How the LinkedIn search works
  • How to contact candidates
  • How to sell a job position
  • How to negotiate salary
3. Being proactive

Definitely, it is a skill expected from candidates in the majority of internships, not only HR. Being proactive means being curious and able to take responsibility for projects, looking for alternative solutions to problems, willing to help. 

For example, you sit in the office at your desk and the colleague next to you went for a short break and did not take the phone. During this time, a candidate calls your colleagues’ phone, you know that your team is now in the process of closing the Software Developer position for the important client. You would be proactive, pick up the phone and answer, tell the candidate that your colleague will call back in a moment, make some notes and pass it to your colleague once she/he is back.

4. Administrative tasks

Tasks related to employee leave, contracts, putting data into the system, invoices, etc.

5. Effective interview

You will participate in the interviews your colleagues are conducting with their candidates. Make notes, create an interview structure. Pay attention to how candidates are replying and how to analyze later their responses. 

6. HR Analytics and reporting

You can learn how to process different types of data and structure it. This will help to make more accurate decisions, to understand how long it takes to hire someone, why people leave the organization. Bigger companies use additional software to process large amounts of data. 

In terms of reporting, it depends on the company, there could be daily, weekly or monthly reports.  In smaller, younger companies, there still might be no reporting system. It would be beneficial for you to track your work activity, even for yourself. Thanks to this, you will always be able to talk about facts and concrete results you achieved, not some general things.

For example, if you will have one2one evaluation meeting, you can present the fact and results of your work supporting it with numbers:  how many candidates did you contact during the week/month, how many interviews you conducted and how much time the administrative work takes.

Later, if you will want to change your job/internship, you would have some data to use during your next recruitment process with potential employers to present your achievements.

7. Planning and staffing skills

Being able to plan the hiring needs for the nearest future, keeping in mind your company business strategy. Does the company plan to open a new department in a new city or country? Or maybe a new stakeholder is joining your organization and there are going to be additional 2 projects next quarter? 

8. Time management

It is a skill to get things done in the endless flow of new job positions, candidates, and team meetings.

9. Emotional intelligence and a psychological evaluation of situations and candidates
10. Storytelling 

This skill is valuable at many job positions, and you can develop it, even if you were not born as a superstar storyteller. 

When it can be useful:

  • During the interview with candidates
  • When you are creating a career page
  • When you are putting together a job offer description

While you are applying for an internship, do this

While you are applying for an internship, do this

Each company has its own recruitment process for an Internship Program. We would suggest doing some homework while you are applying for internship programs:

  1. Make research: about the company, products, services,  recruitment process, it is possible that you will find on LinkedIn a person responsible for the process.
  2. Summarize it and put together  key points, of what is expected from an HR intern:
  • What would be your tasks, responsibilities
  • Prepare a list of your skills, projects you worked on, which might be related to the Internship position

3. Prepare for the question, “Can you tell us more about yourself” by connecting the points above. Tie your skills to the position you are applying for. In other words, think of it as to why does company A should consider you as their Intern.

Good luck :)!


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