Hiring a new employee is a considerable risk for any business. Between training the new worker, purchasing equipment to accommodate their duties, and providing healthcare, the average cost to hire is well over $4,000. With such a significant financial investment, you may find yourself wondering, “Is there a way to “test out” a new staff member before bringing them on board with a salary, 401k, and benefits?” As it turns out, there is a way to do this.
During the employee hiring process, employers may elect to hire individuals on a trial basis. Hiring on a trial basis involves taking on a worker for a set period before evaluating whether or not to hire them as a full-time employee. Predicting how well someone will fit within a role and company based on an interview is challenging, and even the best interviewers get it wrong sometimes.
Having an employment trial period is an excellent way to reduce the risk of a poor hiring decision, and it allows workers to prove their worth. Keep reading for more on the pros and cons of trial periods, as well as how to get started.
The Pros & Cons of Trial Hiring in the Employee Hiring Process
When recruiting potential employees for trial employment, it’s essential to keep in mind that you are both going for a test spin; The employee is trying the job on for size, and you are determining if they are a good fit for the role.
You must ensure that the trial terms are clear to avoid any confusion or frustration amongst trial workers. While trial periods can vary, most of them last between 30 to 180 days, with 90 days being the most common length. Some of the benefits of trial to hire agreements for employers include:
- Businesses can determine a candidates strengths and weaknesses in a real-world environment as opposed to on paper
- Companies can terminate a trial agreement at any point without cause
- Trial workers do not receive the benefits and salary of a full-time employee, which can save money
- The time spent recruiting a trial worker is less than the time spent recruiting a full-time employee
- Trial employees can leave more easily if they feel the job or company is not a fit
For employees, trial employment is an excellent way to get their foot in the door if they are fresh out of college, changing careers, or simply lack experience.
Some negatives to hiring on a trial basis include turning off potential talent, the risk of a good employee leaving for another more permanent role, and feelings of inferiority amongst trial workers.
Getting Started With Trial Hiring
Trial employees, like full-time employees, are considered at-will workers. At-will employment is an employer’s ability to terminate any employee for any (legal) reason without warning. Before hiring a trial employee, business owners must understand their state’s at-will employment regulations. Every state recognizes at-will employment, but some states have limitations on the doctrine. The next step in hiring a trial employee is to draft a written contract that both the employer and the employee will sign.
The agreement should detail the trial terms, including trial length, job duties, job title, pay, etc., so that both parties are clear about what is expected of them. If you decide to terminate a trial employee, you do not have to provide a reason, though it may be helpful to do so to prevent any discrimination claims.
Even with a few minor drawbacks, hiring employees on a trial basis has many significant benefits to both employers and candidates. If you are considering hiring trial employees as part of your employee hiring process, consider using a firm specializing in trial employment, as they can make the entire process even more accessible.
Workforce management companies, like Nexus CW, conduct interviews and reference checks for temporary professionals, which saves you a lot of hassle. Our seasoned recruiting team combines industry expertise with individualized attention to bring you high-quality talent that meets your business needs. Your brand, culture, and vision are an integral part of the recruiting process.
Contact us to get started with trial hiring today.