How to survive the trial period

What is a probationary period?

This is the period when the employer tests the skills and competencies of the employee directly in the work process. The dates of its beginning and end must be recorded in the employment contract and the order for employment.

Usually, the probationary period does not exceed three months, but in rare cases, it is increased to six months – when it comes to managerial positions or accounting… If you enter into a fixed-term employment contract with the company from two to six months, the probationary period should not exceed two weeks.

During the probationary period, you work under the same laws as other employees in the company. You are subject to all regulatory legal acts and internal agreements that operate in the company, with rights and obligations.

Probationary Period - What Happens If You Do Nothing - MAD-HR

For whom it cannot be installed?

Employers often establish a trial period for all newcomers. This cannot be done: There are groups of citizens who should not be tested when hiring.

These are pregnant women and women with children under one and a half years old, minors, and university graduates who get their first job during the first year after graduation. The probationary period also does not pass those who got a job as a result of a legally held competition, and specialists who moved from another place of work as agreed by employers.

If the company concludes an employment contract with you for up to two months, the trial period is also not set.

How to pass?

In good companies, the onboarding process is set up – the recruitment and adaptation of new employees. This is primarily necessary for employers: according to the cloud recruiting service iCIMS, 26% of newcomers leave the workplace if they do not adapt, and another 44% of those left without attention seriously think about dismissal and continue parallel searches for a “spare” job.

Usually, the HR specialist sends the newcomer by mail the information and contacts necessary for entering the position in a PDF file or other convenient format. This is your instruction, in which the company answers frequently asked questions: who will set up a work computer, who to contact for access to corporate services, when to start a working day and how to dress for a shift.

If the company actively uses work slang, beginners are sent a glossary of terms and abbreviations. Sometimes it is added to an employee’s book or any other corporate document with the possibility of constant access.

Something is going wrong

However, there is onboarding, not all companies, as well as good feedback. If in the first days in a new place your supervisor does not give a clear plan of work during the trial period, do not sit out, but ask questions yourself. Find out what results are expected of you in the first one to two months. Usually, they are indicated in the individual employee adaptation plan – if there is none, initiate a meeting and find out the goals yourself.

In many companies, feedback from the team is added to the manager’s assessment of the newcomer. Chat with colleagues, find out if your help is needed in current projects. Discuss with your boss the intermediate results of work, and at the end of the agreed period ask them to point out weaknesses – this will make it clearer what to work on and where to grow.

Ask a specialist from the HR department for all regulations and instructions that you need to study – they often forget to send them. Please clarify if there were any cases when newcomers did not pass the probationary period, and if so – for what reasons?

What to do if they don’t agree?

If during the probationary period you want to leave, you need to notify the employer three days before the dismissal. In addition to subjective reasons, such as rejection of the corporate culture or the inability to fit into the team, there are objective reasons for making such a decision.

For example, you learned that the employer does not pay for the trial period in full – say, only offers half the salary. Another option is that the employer promises official employment a few months after the actual start of work. In this case, there is a high risk that the probationary period will not be recorded in the workbook at all.

The employer can also terminate the employment contract with you – send a notification that the probationary period has not been passed. An employee can be dismissed during the adaptation period without compensation for unused vacation, but otherwise – strictly according to the law. At the same time, the probation period is not marked in the workbook – only the actual dates of hiring and leaving it are entered into the document. That is, if you started the probationary period on September 1, 2020, this date starts the count of seniority in the company.

While passing the probationary period, carefully study the company – ask about everything that is not clear, and talk openly about that confuses and alarms. Study business processes from the inside, take initiative and communicate with colleagues and clients – from them, you will learn much faster how things really are in the company.

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