Entrepreneurs

Eight Criteria You Should Evaluate New Hires On During A Trial Period

Even when candidates for a role have all the knowledge and experience necessary to excel in a position, they may not end up being the best fit for the job. For this reason, many employers choose to put new hires on a trial period before they decide whether or not to keep them on full time. 

When conducting a trial period for a new hire, there are several things you can evaluate candidates on to ensure they’re the right fit. Below, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council discuss the criteria they recommend using to evaluate new hires during a trial period and how these play a role in whether or not they would decide to keep them on as full-time employees. 

1. Culture Fit

An important thing to evaluate is culture fit. Of course, the first step to that is figuring out what the culture of your company is. If speed, moving fast and being collaborative are part of your company’s DNA, you need to find people who operate the same way. As a general rule, more senior hires tend to be less malleable to adopting your company culture, though this isn’t always the case. But whatever the role, culture fit is crucial and is the No. 1 thing to evaluate employees on. – Cody Candee, Bounce

2. Entrepreneurial Attitude

There are several qualities that we look for in a potential hire. Overall, we look for that “entrepreneurial attitude,” which can be broken down into four main areas: motivation, adaptability, initiative and momentum. If everything goes well during the interview process, we’ll give a 60-day trial to every new full-time hire in the United States and use this as an opportunity to confirm that there’s a mutual cultural fit. As a company, we move really fast and ship code daily. At the same time, we want to hire folks who can be the best versions of themselves with us, hence why cultural fit is a top hiring consideration for us. The most important factor is momentum, which is both the fuel and the output for us. We want folks who can move fast, think fast and execute fast while taking ownership of their work. – Dennis Chang, RoadFlex

3. Adaptability

An employee’s probation period is a great time to evaluate their performance and see what they can contribute to the company or if they’re delivering what they promised during the hiring process. One of the criteria important to our company is a person’s ability to work on or explore a wide range of tasks. This type of person is often the most adaptable to changes, and in these times of uncertainty, we need a team player who has a wide range of knowledge who is not afraid to go out of their comfort zone, try new things and learn quickly. – Kyle Goguen, Pawstruck

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4. Soft Skills

During a trial period, we look for soft skills in a candidate. Are they friendly toward other employees? Do they show a self-starter attitude? Are they natural problem-solvers? These questions are important because soft skills are harder to build than technical skills and require you to be good with people. But gauging this information early on will ensure you hire the right fit for your company. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

5. Their Interest In Learning

During a new hire’s trial period, one of the key criteria to evaluate them on is whether or not they have an interest in learning or an aversion to it. While some may initially struggle to catch on with learning a new role, how they respond to this struggle is the most important indicator of whether or not they’ll remain at the company. If new hires get frustrated and easily give up or mentally check out when faced with adversity, that’s a bad sign for any organization focused on growth. Growth requires rapid learning, often under extremely uncertain circumstances (the very definition of a startup, according to Eric Ries). So, if this process is antithetical to a team member’s temperament, they’ll be a hindrance to innovation and, ultimately, business success. – Richard Fong, PageKits.com

6. Work Ethic

Work ethic is essential. Anyone can learn to do a job, but not everyone has the work ethic to continue doing a great job. They have to be self-motivated and proactive. Do they want to find things to do if they’re not busy? Do they ask questions and try to learn as much as they can? Look for employees who take notes when given instructions. This shows they want to remember and complete tasks on their own rather than relying on others to help them. That doesn’t mean they’re unwilling to ask questions. It shows that they’re willing to take responsibility. Also, look for how they take criticism. When someone is learning a new job, they’ll make mistakes. How do they react when you tell them how you’d like them to complete the task instead? Are they defensive or ready to learn and adapt? – Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com

7. Alignment And Talent

We don’t do “trial periods” for new hires, but if we did, the evaluation would be based on two things, not one. The first would be value alignment: the extent to which the individual and company values are aligned. Values are deep-seated and very hard to change or evolve. When they are misaligned, the cost, in terms of damage to the organization, is exorbitant. The second would be talent—as defined by recurring patterns of behavior that can be productively applied within our business environment. Even if someone’s values align with the company, they still need to possess the talents required for the role. The skills to do a role are not enough. If you want excellence, you need to hire them for talent. – Ben Landers, Blue Corona

8. Collaborative Skills

Our company is a 100% remote one. So, there are several things we consider before hiring a new employee. Two of them are their communication and collaborative skills. Our team is spread across more than 60 countries, and people work from different time zones. So it’s important for us to see how well our employees fit into our work culture and how well they collaborate with the team without meeting them for months, sometimes years. Also, since they will mostly be working alone, they won’t have anyone to push them to get things done. So, we want them to be proactively completing their tasks and meeting their goals. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

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