I’m on Probation!

I’m on Probation!

Often part of a new employee’s contract of employment. It’s a chance for the employer to see the new person in action for either three or six months to see how they perform and if they fit, before their position is confirmed. Arguably it’s also a chance for the new employee to decide whether the job and the company are for them.  A sort of extended trial period.

Where an employer has a robust recruitment process* it is argued that the probationary period should not be necessary – the employer should have taken the time to define the requirements of the job, [Job Description / Person Specification] advertised widely to attract a pool of candidates, short-listed potentially suitable people, then gone through a thorough selection process, including a recruitment interview [using behavioural event interview questions], and may have used psychometric or other assessments are part of the selection process. 

Then the suitable candidate would have gone through pre-employment checks [Right To Work, Criminal Records Check, References, and other checks if appropriate]. 

Most SME businesses don’t do most of this so the probationary period is necessary to see if the person can do the job and is a good fit for the business! 

During the probationary period, there should be regular review meetings – if the new employee is not meeting expectations in some way they should be told and given guidance on how to improve. It should not be a shock to be told in the probationary review meeting, at the end of three or six months – “sorry it’s not working out, we are not going to continue with your employment.” 

[NB: Should the Labour Party get elected they are promising employment rights from day one, although no suggestion that probationary periods would be outlawed]. 



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