You just brought a new employee on board at your Texas company. This person seems to have it all – a fabulous resume, strong references and a track record of successes and accomplishments. In addition, he performed well during multiple interviews with you and others.
Still, you want to be absolutely sure that the new hire is right for your organization. This is something that is hard to be certain of until the person is actually on the job, doing the assigned work and interacting with your staff.
Ways that probation can be useful to the employer and the employee
One way to tell is by putting the newcomer on probation. Probation, also known as a probationary period, can last a few months (the exact length of time is up to the employer). As explained on the website HRZone, “The probationary period allows both employee and employer to see if they are a ‘good fit’ and to make things easier if they need to terminate the contract.”
The word “probation” might have a negative association in some people’s minds. When an employee is fulfilling a probationary period at the start of their employment, it’s not a punishment or a step-down. Think of it more as a kind of tryout.
The following uses of probation by an employer are different than the use described above:
- If an employee has been doing work that does not meet your or your company’s standards, they may be placed on probation. This gives the person a chance to shape up.
- If there is suspected or alleged wrongdoing by the employee, placing them on probation allows the employer to look into the matter.
- Yet another reason for probation is to see how someone does when they have been shifted into another role within the company.
You may have questions about any legal issues or disputes that could potentially arise if you let an employee go when the probationary period ends. Make sure you fully understand the strengths and weaknesses of your position.