Analyzing Your Hire — The Official (or Unofficial) Probationary Period

After sifting through all the resumes, conducting dozens of interviews, and going through the turmoil of weighing the pros and cons of every candidate on your short list, you finally were able to make the decision of who is the best fit for your company. Even after all that, however, you aren’t done. The first few days, week, or even month of your chosen candidate’s employment is trying and is a probationary period.

The candidate had all the experience you were looking for, was able to maintain great eye contact during the interview process and even made you smile as you got to know her. She was perfect. However, starting a new job is a learning process for anyone and now it’s time to analyze your decision.

After your candidate has started his new position, the real learning begins. No matter what the position is — from running the cash register at your small business to being a lead account executive for a large firm — learning the ways of the new job, the ins and outs of the office politics and who to ask for help when it’s needed can be exciting, albeit stressful.

Now the analyzing begins, and here are a few behaviors to watch in your new employee:

  • Is she tackling issues head on? If she comes across a problem, is she using her available resources (company manuals, management, superior team members) to conquer her issues or is she unfortunately sweeping the issues under the rug?

  • Does he actively engage in his job and the office? Is he a team player who is eagerly trying to meet his colleagues while still performing his job?

  • Is she on time and eager to do her job the way it’s supposed to be done?

  • Is his work correct and is he as efficient as he should be given his prior experience and skill level?

All of these can help you determine whether or not you’ve made the right hire, and hopefully you have — for both of your sakes. However, if she doesn’t seem to be “getting it” in the amount of time you deem necessary, you may need to make the tough decision of replacing her with your “runner-up.” It’s not uncommon, and sometimes it’s not always the fault of the candidate, per se. Now is the time to make your decision: are the issues coming up things that could be helped along by additional training, or should you cut your losses quickly and move on to the next candidate?

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