Why are probation periods so important?

Hera Search Executive PA Recruitment Success

So, you've aced the interview and got the job of your dreams! You can relax now, right?

Unfortunately not. Although it may feel like the hardest part is over, actually the real test is yet to come. But this is a good thing!

A standard 3-month probation period is effectively a company’s way of offering you a ‘working interview’ which lasts for 12 weeks - much longer than the 2 hours it took to get the role in the first place!

Of course it is also an important way for you to gage your feelings about the company, your new boss and team but equally, everyone will be waiting to see if the ‘newbie’ cuts the mustard and whether the Hiring Manager made the right decision. This is why notice periods at this stage tend to be 1 week either way.

To you give yourself the best possible chance of smashing your end-of-probation-review there are a few golden rules:

  • 100% attendance which means taking holidays is a no-no. There is an unwritten rule in the world of Employment & HR that, unless absolutely necessary, a new starter shouldn't take holiday during their probation when they should otherwise be concentrating on proving themselves.
  • Sick days are also not a great idea! Of course you can’t predict when you might feel poorly but, in reality, be aware that it may raise a few eyebrows if you’re off sick and have only just joined.
  • Work full days. Be on time or come in early, and perhaps work a little later than your set core hours. There’s nothing that can affect your reputation faster than routinely coming into work late – remember the probation period is an extension of your interview.
  • Dress for success. It mentally prepares you for the day ahead and puts you in a positive frame of mind about yourself, and gives the impression that you’re serious about your new job. Take your cue on appropriate work attire from colleagues already working there.
  • Get stuck in, get the job done, and make a name for yourself - you never know what doors will open, even in the first few weeks!

The first few months of any new job will be exciting and challenging and approaching it with a positive attitude should mean you’ll easily sail through your review (providing you haven’t booked a month off in Bali, of course).