How Will Employers With More Than 20 Employees Cope Without The 90 Day Trial?
On 1 April 2018, employers with more than 20 employees will no longer have the right to include a 90 Day Trial clause in Individual Employment Agreements.
We do not see this as a big deal for employers with proper employment and HR processes.
- The 90 Day Trial was never an easy-out for employers wanting to try out employees. Due process in recruitment and HR onboarding was always a requirement for all employers – large and small.
- Dismissal of employees within the 90 Day Trial period has happened, but it should not have been a surprise to the employee. Where the fit turns out to be wrong, it is uncomfortable for all parties concerned, and need immediate and professional management.
- Fully checking employee skills and background is a recruitment basic and not something to be taken less lightly simply because there is a perceived ‘back door’ or easy way to get rid of an employee who turns out to be not quite the star performer that you anticipated.
- Failing to profile job requirements or person requirements is the fault of the employer – not the candidate, so make sure you have covered these basics thoroughly.
Recruitment of a new team member always bears a risk. One new person is able to (completely unknowingly) influence the entire culture of an organisation in either a good way or in a negative way.
It is this unforeseen shift in an environment or culture where the 90 Day Trial is (or has been for those larger organisations) occasionally useful – but not without a serious effort to make changes or introduce all the training and induction possible.
Here are some of the steps employers can take to ensure their recruitment is on track from a cultural fit perspective as could possibly be expected:
- Ask culturally based interviewing questions
- Probe into management styles the candidate is accustomed to and both positives and negatives from previous experience.
- Ask candidates to describe previous organisations and what the culture was. Compare the replies to you own business culture.
- Use STAR interview techniques [Situation Task Action Result] to profile or predict how a candidate may act in a given situation.
- Conduct reference checks that check the cultural fit in previous organisations to assess how good the fit will be with your business.
- Introduce the candidate to some of your employees and observe how comfortable the interface is.
All businesses large and small hold full responsibility for hiring and on-boarding well.
While untested in court, dismissing an employee under the 90 Day Trial still requires a paper trail from the employer on efforts to bring to the attention of the employee concerned that their behaviour was not fitting with the company’s standards and how they might modify their performance or behaviour to improve.
Coaching and follow up support is also a mandatory requirement for all business owners with employees. The responsibility lies with the employer to make clear standards of performance and behaviour.
To dismiss an employee without following these processes – regardless of whether the 90 day trial applies is a fail on the employer’s part.
Finally, remember that it’s better to retain and empower employees who you have a positive history with than to move forward with a stream of new team members. Your HR processes are the backbone of your future business.