Claire DEspagne’s passing on the podcast “Freedom of entrepreneurship” has to say what people don’t speak much about. “There are schools that tell us, ‘If I find out that my intern works more than 35 hours a week, I’ll stop the internship’. Well, it’s going to be hard on your intern. Me, if I don’t work 80 hours a week, I have very little chance of having my apartment, a second home, and another afterwards. » In the same order, since being removed from the internet, the entrepreneur at the head of the cosmetic brand D + for care is outraged: “Wondering where the interns are?»complaining of not succeeding in the current recruitment period.
If he doesn’t explicitly call interns to work 80 hours a week, one is tempted to believe it’s obsessing his mind. This opinion caused a reaction, but in the end, was it very marginal? Regardless of such climaxes, we have all seen or heard of interns being used to the limit by struggling companies or managers who are convinced that every intern has to suffer as he or she has experienced. The Instagram accounts of your start-up and others have extensively reported on situations that are delicate to say the least.
Do not recruit a trainee in technical skills: what to expect from him?
Beyond the hours of trainees (which, it should be noted, are outlined in law: 35 hours per week), Claire DEspagne’s controversy delivers ahead of the legitimate expectations of these reinforcements who have not yet graduated. Do we want help or a ready-to-use quasi-employee? Replacing an employee with a permanent contract or a student who will bring the latest academic knowledge to a sector?
At Decathlon, which accepted 2,318 trainees in 2021, the rule is clear: we don’t recruit in skills. “We give opportunity to young people, without diplomas and without experience”ensures Kamel Medjabra, head of employer brand and Decathlon relationships with schools.
This openness is not without question: what right do we expect from a trainee if we don’t pick him or her based on technical skills? We come to the famous chapter of soft skills (“human skills”, we’ll say in French). Recruiters interviewed said they have no doubt that trainees from such and such excellent schools will be able to study quickly. The challenge is to find out if they will show curiosity, autonomy, analysis. There will be real expectations.
Taking on responsibilities but fitting expectations: the impossible balance?
Here, once integrated into teams, regardless of their type of contract, we swear that the trainee will be a collaborator just like everyone else. “We hope he will give his opinion and contribute to the projects”the manager added that the company is ahead in the HappyTrainees 2022 ranking (in the category of more than 1,000 trainees per year) which identifies the companies that best include trainees.
But placing the trainee in such a position is not done without support. In the Decathlon, as in Capgemini, which ranked 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”explained Emmanuel Legros, director of recruitment for the digital services company.
And what about rhythm? Are these companies over Claire DEspagne’s side and at 80 hours or the labor inspectorate and at 35 hours? Because if we consider trainees as permanent employees, should we expect them to work? “There is no particular differencethey said on the Decathlon side, but we ensure that the speed and the load of the work do not melt away. » In fact, it is not easy to find in-between 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 acknowledges that teleworking is not conducive to management. “It is easier to control schedules when trainees are on site”, he admits. However, there is no question of granting fewer privileges to almost all of these employees. Everyone benefits from the same benefits as permanent employees, between 20 and 70% teleworking per week, depending on the type of project. “In return, we maintain the level required on the quality of those delivered, as well as on their deadline”by Emmanuel Legros.
There is no other world, we remain in the world of goals. The intern must somehow rise to the company’s standards. The internship remains a way of testing a potential employee. For graduate interns (but also for work-study students), Decathlon makes a “market” to try to match the profiles to be accepted to the needs of the teams.
Letting interns know that the company is thinking about them is probably one of the best ways to motivate them. In this brand of sports, 30% of internships at the end of the study are done as permanent jobs. A figure that rose to 70% in Capgemini. It remains to be seen if 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 is detrimental to our careers
Tuesday, May 24: Instructions for not being exploited as an intern