Probationary Reviews – the superhero of the hiring process

Picture this: You’ve just hired someone, and you’re eager to see them flourish in their new role. You’re crossing your fingers, hoping for the best. But as life would have it, things don’t always unfold as smoothly as planned.

That’s where probation reviews step in as the unsung heroes of the hiring process. They provide a structured way to assess performance, behaviours, and attitudes post-hiring.

The inspiration for this blog? Years of observing poorly managed probation periods or employers not even using them at all leading to underperformance or difficult discussions down the line. An effective probation period, where the probation review is king, can prevent all of this.

Understanding Probation Reviews: What You Need to Know

Think of them as your secret weapon to ensuring that your new hire not only nails their job but also meshes with your company culture. These reviews serve a dual purpose: gauging your new hire’s prowess in handling their tasks, as well as sussing out whether their values and goals align with the ethos of your company.  They not only benefit employers by setting clear expectations but also help new employees understand their role and measure their own success.

Top Tips for Acing Probation Reviews

A successful probation review isn’t a one-off thing, it’s a process that encompasses:

  1. Clear Objectives: Set crystal-clear goals and targets from day one to provide clarity and set expectations.
  2. Regular Check-ins: Maintain open lines of communication with weekly catch-ups. It’s all about staying in the loop and offering support when needed.
  3. Monthly Objective Reviews: Avoid surprises by conducting monthly check-ins to address any issues before the end of the probation period.
  4. Formal Performance Review: When the probation period wraps up, it’s time to sit down and evaluate performance against those initial objectives and understand what’s working and what’s not.
  5. Post-review Decision Making: Pass, extend, or fail? Make the call in the probation outcome, keeping both the new hire’s and the team’s best interests in mind

The Power of a Probation Review Template

Consistency is key, and standardised evaluation processes ensure fairness and transparency. A template streamlines the process, ensuring all new hires are judged by the same yardstick, regardless of who’s conducting the evaluating. Plus, it lays out clear expectations for your new recruit with no guesswork or confusion.

Crafting Effective Evaluation Questions

No probation review template is complete without asking the right questions. Consider incorporating questions such as:

  1. “Have you met the objectives set at the beginning of your probation period?”
  2. “Can you provide examples of any challenges you faced and how you overcame them?”
  3. “How have you integrated with your team and the company culture?”
  4. Do you feel like you have the support you need to succeed in your role?
  5. What areas of your role do you feel like you’re especially good at? What areas do you feel you need improvement in?

Help is at hand

So, there you have it—a crash course in probation reviews…

Navigating probation reviews can feel daunting, but fear not; assistance is readily available from goal setting to review execution to ensure a seamless process and set your new hires up for success.

If you need any help, please get in touch.