Probationary employment, also known as a temp-to-hire arrangement, is used by both professionals and companies to try out an employment situation, as opposed to the commitment of full-time position.

People willing to take on probationary employment tend to be recent graduates, folks changing careers or individuals hoping to get their foot in the door at a certain company. While this generally means the worker is looking to impress the company and receive a job offer, the situation also benefits people who are not ready to make a full-time commitment for any number of reasons. For companies, a temp-to-hire arrangement protects from bad hiring choices or committing to hire in a bad economy.

Because of the precarious nature of the situation, probationary employees should be handled differently than either temporary employees or full-time workers. Consider the following tips on how to manage a probationary employee.

Day-to-day management

Both the employee and their direct supervisor should use the probationary period to see if there is a solid match. After a thorough onboarding program and sufficient training, the probationary worker should be closely monitored and given regular feedback. By working intently with probationary employees, it helps them settle into their roles and become essential members of your team.

If any problems crop up early on, they ought to be addressed right away, as opposed to waiting until the conclusion of the probationary period.

Evaluating the employee

If there is a set timeframe for employment, management should hold a probationary review meeting at the end date to determine if the employee should be hired. If the commitment to the employee is open-ended, management should meet with the employee regularly to discuss their status. These meetings can be as often as once a month or as infrequently as every six months.

At the meeting, management should review the employee’s work quality, efficiency, ability, job knowledge gained, attendance and relationship with other staff members. If the new employee’s performance is good enough and a full-time position is available, then you should confirm their appointment to the role. If the employee deserves an offer but a position is not available, be upfront and ask the employee to continue their commitment.

If the worker’s performance is not satisfactory but they have the potential to meet or exceed expectations, you could extend their probationary period, let the employee know the reasons for this extension and have them agree to a written plan for improvement.

If the worker’s performance is not satisfactory and it appears training or support will not help them meet expectations, you may have to think about dismissal. As with any dismissal, employers must be careful to apply a fair and consistent standard for dismissing a temp-to-hire employee.

At Action Group Staffing, we work with our clients to achieve the best possible outcomes for temp-to-hire situations. If your company is currently looking to increase is staffing levels, please contact us to discuss a wide range of talent acquisition solutions.

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