Eight ways to design an effective trial period for a new hire


Attracting new employees to your team is always a gamble. While job applications, resumes, and job interviews can help you make an informed decision about whether or not you think someone is a good fit for your company, you won’t really know until you hire them and they start working in their role. That’s why a trial period can be a useful next step in the hiring process, allowing you to see how a candidate tackles real-world problems.

However, for a trial period to be an effective test of a new hire’s capabilities and potential, you need to come up with a thoughtful strategy. To help, eight members of Council for Young Entrepreneurs share their best tips for designing an effective trial period so you and the employee get the most out of it.


1. Tailor the trial version to the use case

To ensure that a trial period is an effective test of a new hire’s capabilities and potential, it is best that you tailor your trial periods to the respective use cases. For example, if you’re hiring a marketer, design the trial to best assess a new recruit’s marketing skills and abilities. The trial must be specifically designed to evaluate the potential recruit’s ability to effectively design and execute marketing campaigns. This would convey a clear message to the recruits as to the position they would be hired for. This would also help the company assess the skills of the candidates and see if they are right for the job. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable shapes

2. Design an onboarding plan with goals and milestones

Every new employee should have an onboarding plan with associated goals and milestones. If you give a new employee a certain trial period, there should be certain goals that the employee must achieve during that period. In fact, all new hires for us have a 30, 60 and 120 day onboarding plan with expectations and goals at each stage. We’ve found that by being transparent about expectations, we set both the employee and the company for success. In most cases, we share these expectations during the hiring process so that new hires have an idea of ​​what is expected of them before agreeing to take on the position. We have found that this approach creates alignment on both sides and produces the highest possible success rate. – Arian Radmand, IgnitePost

3. Set check-in times to resolve any issues

After the first week, report to your direct manager. Often, problems with an overly exaggerated resume surface quite quickly. Be sure to document and point out early stage issues. The goal is to keep the employee – not to let him go after the probationary period. Recruitment is too expensive for that. I would have at least two 30 day check-ins before deciding to keep the employee or break up. We’ve probably all brought on someone new and, despite red flags during their trial period, we continued to give them the benefit of the doubt. I have learned to trust my judgment. If it doesn’t work out during the trial period, cut them loose. Sometimes, no matter how confident you were that you chose the right candidate, you may have been wrong – and that’s okay. – Jennifer A Barnes, Optima Office, Inc.

4. Assign a project that reflects the real work they will be doing

Create a specific project with a defined start and end date that corresponds to the type of work done full time. This gives the candidate an idea of ​​what the job will look like and gives the team an idea of ​​what it’s really like to work with this person. I believe this helps create a much better alignment and ultimate fit than a typical interview process. – Josh Weiss, Reggie

5. Measure work style and strengths through personality assessments

I have new hires take two tests: Gallup’s CliftonStrengths test and the DiSC profile. The Gallup test shows me what the top five strengths of the contributor are, so I don’t put someone who likes to talk a lot in a library to do research all day. By identifying what the new hire’s strengths are, I can match them to their most important tasks. The DiSC profile helps me understand their working style. Some people like to attack a project individually by first understanding it themselves and later working with a team. I like thinking about it aloud with a group and then assigning tasks to who will do what and when. After getting to know the new hire’s work style and strengths, the three-month trial period allows me to leverage their talents to see if the new hire is a good fit. – Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Firm

6. Always ensure open communication

One way to ensure that a trial period is an effective test of a new hire’s abilities and potential is to clearly communicate the expectations and goals of the trial period to the new hire and provide them with the support and resources they need. need to succeed. This may include providing them with a detailed job description, providing them with access to any necessary training or resources, and setting specific goals to achieve during the probationary period. It is important to contact the new employee regularly to provide support and feedback and to give them the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns. This can help ensure the new hire is on track to meet the trial period goals and help identify potential areas for improvement. – Andrew Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

7. Structure the trial around specific KPIs and OKRs

One way to ensure that a probation period is an effective test of a new hire’s capabilities and potential is to structure the probation period around Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and measure it against the objective and key results (OKR). ) from the organization. Setting clear expectations ensures that both parties are on the same wavelength and that the new employee can demonstrate their skills, abilities and potential. During the trial period, it is essential to provide the new hire with feedback and guidance to maximize the effectiveness of the trial period,with a focus on achieving the defined KPIs and OKRs. In addition, it is critical to give the new hire a reasonable timeline to focus on their goals and objectives. It’s important to make sure you’re consistently reviewing the new hire’s progress to get the most out of the period Jay Dalal, Machnet

8. Make agreements about measures for success

Start with really clear and mutually agreed upon measures of success. For example, “If XYZ has reached the end of this trial, then we both agree it has been a success.” Put your assumptions in writing before the trial period begins and book the time at the end of the trial period to ensure you look back to review your assumptions. Involve others in the company beyond the hiring manager and employee to ensure this meeting is impartial, as the two directly involved in the decision will be subject to bias. Through this process – which should be a mutually agreed set of objective goals and a vigilant review process that can withstand confirmation bias – you can ensure an effective trial period for a new hire. – Andrew Powell, Learn to win