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Blog  »  May 2014  »  How to Manage New Employees - Blog
May 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

How to Manage New Employees

The recruitment process should not simply stop when a new employee is appointed. The likely success, or failure, of the relationship often depends on how well the employee settles in.

A probation period gives you time to make sure that the selection you made was the right choice.

It's an opportunity to evaluate the new employee's performance, commitment and general suitability for the role, and to take the necessary action I they are failing to meet the requirements.

Probation periods generally last from one to six months, depending on the role, the business, and the business needs.

How to Manage the Probation Period:

  • Include probation details in the contract of employment, specifically stating the right to extend the probation and/or dismissing an employee during their probation. 
  • Clarify any different terms and conditions of employment that apply during probation, e.g. some benefits may not be available until completion of probation, the Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures may not apply. This should generally be stated in the contract of employment. 
  • Provide the employee with a clear job description.
  • Carry out an Induction Process. The induction process should start on the employee’s first day. Induction will give them clear guidance on their role, their role within the organisation and appropriate training where appropriate. A detailed Induction Checklist can be found here.
  • Provide training. It is recommended that training be provided on in-house procedures, although they may seem straight-forward to you, they will most likely be totally foreign to your new hire. 
  • Hold regular update meetings with the employee. Continuously monitor their performance throughout the probation. This will allow you to detect any weakness early on and take suitable remedial action to assist the employee. Don’t leave it to the week before the probation is up to meet with the employee. 
  • Confirm your intentions with regard to the continuation of the probationary period before the planned expiry. The employee should never be surprised with the probation outcome, there should be regular discussions throughout the probation. 

The Outcome

There will be three possible outcomes at the end of the probation period:

They’ve Passed! Congratulations, you’ve found a perfect fit!

Probation Extension! You’re still not sure whether this is the right person or not and need more time to assess them. Employee probation periods should not extend over 12 months.

Termination! After continuous monitoring, you’ve decided that it’s not going to work and that it’s best for everyone to part ways.


Whatever the outcome, a formal letter should be sent to the employee confirming the result of their probation.

For guidance on what to include in such letters, please refer to our sample template probation letters available here.

Best of luck with your new starters!

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