WE Hosts - Best Practices

The goals of WE Drupal focus on providing valuable work experience for qualified DrupalEasy graduates, as well as useful work product for the host organizations. Based on interviews with previous hosts and tips from various human resource and professional organizations, we’ve compiled a list of Best Practices to help guide WE Drupal hosts.

  1. Consider how and if you can compensate your Intern - there are several options you may want to consider before you engage your intern. Compensation is not required, but will contribute to your ability to compete with other intern hosts in attracting the top talent from the program. Options for compensation include:
    • Intern & Earn: With a straight hourly contracting fee that is most attractive to interns, this option will give you access to the top talent among graduates. It also gives your organization the most straight forward process to gauge abilities and potential working relationship, and gives the intern the truest work experience. We suggest a $20 - $25 per hour contract for 20+ hours per week for 6 - 10 weeks.
    • Prove then Pay: A non-paid limited trial phase followed by a paid period once the intern is up to speed on your processes and expectations is a great way to stay competitive for upper tier talent, motivate the intern, and keep labor costs low. We suggest a 1 month unpaid phase followed by paid 1 month period ($20 - $25 per hour contract for 20+ hours per week) that can be extended if the relationship works out.
    • Work for Experience: An unpaid internship that provides close supervision and guidance is an extremely valuable experience for newly trained Drupal talent and can provide useful work product for the host organization. We suggest a 6 - 10 week internship period.
  2. Prepare ahead for the WE Drupal participant to maximize the experience for both of you - about a week prior to the start of your WE Drupal experience, make sure you have everything in place that will ensure quick ramp up and maximum value for the experience, including:
    • Setting up access to required networks/file sharing
    • Introducing/providing contact information via email to relevant staff/contractors/WE participant
    • A who’s who list on your team/organization for the participant, if relevant
    • A list of things they need to know about working for your organization; hours, reporting, policies, etc.
    • A list of simpler, real-work assignments to use as a plan to get them started
  3. Get to know your apprentice with simple tasks and chats at first -Gauge the skill, confidence and abilities of your charge early with chats and assignment of some simple, real work tasks. Early discussions about building a piece of functionality on a project that allows them to verbalize their thought process will help you to get to know the person and gauge their capabilities. How much time it takes to complete initial tasks can help you gauge their skill, whether they ask questions if they need help, and gauge their confidence. All of this will help you maximize the time they put in for you, and give you an idea of how you can plan their role so it benefits both of you the most.
  4. Encourage the participant to ask questions - It sounds really simple, but many hosts have found that encouraging the intern to ask questions is extremely important at the onset and throughout the WE program. Many are looking to impress, so may not want to appear deficient in their skills. Keeping the lines of communication open, and questions flowing will help their confidence and your productivity.
  5. About 2 weeks into the WE Drupal Experience, have a quick debrief Discuss what you think is working and not working, ask the intern how they feel things are going to gauge perspective, and make any adjustments that will maximize the value to you and the intern. It will also give you an idea of how comfortable they are working on the level of tasks and their ability to ask questions and point out problems, if there are any.
  6. Develop an interaction/communication plan for the duration of the WE Drupal period - Setting up daily meetings and a window of office hours to touch base on tasks, review work, and provide guidance is critical to the success of the program. Consider set times each day for a meeting, and Skype sessions, phone calls, and chatting. For virtual situations, Skype can also facilitate virtual office hours to be available for questions.
  7. Schedule about 5 hours per week of contact time evenly throughout the week to keep current - Keeping continual contact with the WE Drupal participant keeps the participant on track, and you on top of where projects are. Schedules may interfere at times, but a goal of one hour per day contact time is optimum.
  8. Track Your Experience - By keeping a record of the highlights of your meetings and interaction with the intern, you can keep track of progress, areas covered and gauge the progress throughout the experience. This will be helpful for the participant, for you as a potential future host, and DrupalEasy as we gauge the strengths and weaknesses of our career training.