Probationary period: we still forget that the employee also tests the employer




“There is a saying: “At either job you should earn or learn,” – Monika, Talent Acquisition Partner at Xplicity.

In this article, you’ll find Monika‘s insights on a probationary period and what it means from various perspectives.

Employee onboarding starts during job interviews

Ideally, on-board should start before an employee starts working, e.g. a brief introduction to the future manager during job interviews. On the first day, the employee should feel welcome and be briefed on the basics. And no, it’s not just the technical stuff but also seemingly small details like where to find the coffee machine or buy the tastiest lunch. It is also very important to set aside time to talk periodically about how the employee is feeling in the new workplace and to be able to receive open feedback.

Seven steps

Companies usually have a variety of individual approaches to the probationary period, but there are a few basic steps that many of them use:

  1. Introducing the employee to the atmosphere of the company.
  2. Good practices for the first day of work (gift packages, getting to know colleagues, etc.)
  3. Introducing the employee to the company’s values and culture as soon as possible.
  4. The opportunity to learn faster by doing rather than by watching colleagues.
  5. Efforts to avoid overloading an employee with too much information and to present it in a structured, step-by-step manner.
  6. Regular conversations with the employee to ensure their well-being.
  7. Obtaining feedback from the employee and ensuring that he/she is able to talk openly anytime.


As for the most common mistakes, they are usually happening due to poor communication. Often the company does not disclose all the information about the role or, what can be expected. Also, the candidate often has not worked out what kind of working environment he or she would feel fulfilled in. This leads to a conflict that could have been avoided if the right communication had been invested in from the start.

Not only for the employee but also for the employer

By communicating openly with each other and understanding from the outset what is expected of each other, a long-term relationship between employer and employee can be built. In many cases, if the employee realizes in time that he or she is not interested in the position, it will save both the employee’s and the company’s time and resources. Although it may seem painful for both parties to end the working relationship after a short time, it is far more beneficial in the long run.

So each employee should first assess what they expect from their new job – whether the priority is money or learning if they lack some specific skills. There is a saying: “At either job you should earn or learn.” Everyone should choose according to their qualifications and needs. For an entry-level professional, learning opportunities are likely to be important. For mid-level professionals, it will be the salary and internal career opportunities, and for high-level professionals, it will be about sharing their knowledge and perhaps being able to contribute to key decision-making.

Certainly, the younger generation has a slightly different attitude and a looser approach than has been the norm in the labor market. They are willing to explore, experiment and are not afraid of change, which makes it easier for them to decide to end their probationary period if the workplace does not meet their expectations. Although they are often much less loyal, all this change brings them an invaluable experience which, once they have found the right employer, will be extremely beneficial for all parties.

Being “under the magnifying glass”

According to Gustė, who is a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Xplicity, the three-month probationary period is a really challenging time for a young person in their final year of study or who has just graduated.

It’s not only a completely new experience when you don’t yet know “what you want to do when you grow up” but when you have a lot of theoretical knowledge, ideas, and the will to act, with little or no real experience. It is also being “under the magnifying glass”. Nowadays, both the employee and the employer are under it.

In Gustė’s opinion, it is not only the new employee who is evaluated during the probationary period but also the employer. They observe each other, evaluate each other, compare each other, test each other in one situation or another, see if they are on the right track together.

“I have heard from older acquaintances and relatives that during the probationary period, it is only the employer who assesses the new employee, tries them out in different situations, puts them in jobs that no one else is willing to do, and watches to see if they can cope. However, my opinion is different”, – says Gustė.


The probationary period is not only for the employee but also to the employer. He or she is also evaluated, monitored and compared with others. It is very important for today’s young person that the employer is in line with his or her values, does not restrict freedom, and helps him or her to grow and develop.