Recruitment – How to get through the Probationary Period

Recruitment – How to get through the Probationary Period

There is a reason why a reputable recruitment company will offer a free three month replacement.  If a new employee  is going to leave then its within this period that it is likely to happen, and quite often its due to the settling in period not being as successful as it should.

As recruitment consutlants, we have heard many a horror story relating to how a new employee is welcomed into a business, so here are some tip`s to help make the transition for everyone as easy as possible.

Day One             

  • Make your new employee feel welcome and special – Ensure  that their computer is working, desk is clean and tidy and they have everything they needs to get cracking. 
  • Give them a proper induction into the business – be  100% clear with regards to your expectations as the employer,  such as protocols for sickness, start time and finish time etc. Clarity at this point will save potentially awkward situations occurring in the first few weeks.
  • Give them a buddy – the  last thing a new person wants to do is flag up any issue to their new boss but having a office buddy can provide a buffer that will discreetly be able to deal with anything minor that could potentially have caused a bigger issue further down the line.
  • Remember they have joined to do a specific job – be 100% clear what that  is and make sure the role is how they perceived it to be in the recruitment process.
  • Take them for lunch – you can guarantee the employee will go home tell their partner,  tell their friends and get an instant good feel about their new place of work.

Week One

For me its more of the same,  you don`t need to take the employee for lunch every day  as that would be too much and too expensive!  Having said that the person may not be local, they may not know where to go so just make sure your other staff welcome the person and include them in their plans.  The sooner the new employee gets to know the team the quicker they will gain some confidence and start to integrate into the business properly. 

Make sure that the employee knows  that you appreciate that mistakes happen,  nobody expects perfection on day one and there is nothing that can`t be sorted out if caught early enough.

Make sure that at the end of week one a proper review takes place – its  important that the new employee gets the recognition for what will have hopefully been  a successful first week.

Your recruitment consultant will also call the new employee following their first few weeks and this can potentially iron out any issues that the new employee may have.  This has great benefits as the employee is far more likely to tell a third party person rather than their new employer.  For example we recently recruited a part time HR manager for a business in Manchester.  When they started in the role the start time was not what they expected and they were struggling to fit this in with childcare and were apprenshive about letting their new employer down.  Four’s consultant  spoke directly to the client acting as mediator and finding a soloution to the issue.  Had she not got involved the new recruit would almost of certainly left in the first few weeks.

Week Two onwards

Some advice I received from  a mentor of mine was that people like to be managed, don`t be afraid to deal with issues as and when they happen but just make sure the message being delivered is clear and consistent . Try and get to know what buttons to press as clearly different people will respond to different styles of management.  It is not everyone`s cup of tea but a decent personality profile can be useful when getting to know about a new employee.

Finally don’t be afraid to make a decision, if you have open lines of communication then agreeing with the employee whether its going to work long term should not be a difficult conversation – of course we want every new recruit to work out but realistically that is not going to happen.  Find the right recruitment partner who will assist you through this process and if it doesn’t work out will find you a suitable replacement.


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