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Life Without 90-Day Trials: What You Can Do

Published June 19, 2019 (last updated on June 10, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Copywriter and Content Creator


90-Day Trial Restriction

One of the biggest changes initiated by the passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Act was the limitation of 90-day trials.

As of 6 May 2019, these trials now are only available to businesses that employ 19 or fewer employees. For businesses with 20+ employees who may be recruiting, without the protection on 90-day trials, it means finding the right employee at the outset.

It means putting more emphasis on hiring and recruitment processes, from identifying the need for a new role to hiring the correct individual.

Here are some constructive tips to help businesses navigate these changes and plan their business’ growth without the 90-day trial safeguard.

Make Sure You’ve Identified the Role You Really Need

Before hiring staff, it is important for any business owner to consider the structure of the business and then decide on the type of employment required.

While permanent staff may be the default option for most employers, having the right mix of employment types ensures that day-to-day business needs are met while having enough capacity and resources to increase output during peak times. This can include hiring employees on a fixed term or casual basis.

Minimum wage and entitlements vary dramatically depending on whether an employee is an adult, starting-out, or training towards an industry qualification. It is worth considering all the options before advertising for a role. By having a sound understanding of the different employment types available, the process of determining the best fit for the business becomes easier.

Get the Interview Right

Job interviews are the traditional test for finding employees. You’ve probably heard all the cliché questions (“what are three of your weaknesses?”) and asking these questions leaves you exposed to textbook answers.

This is ironic to write but — ask yourself, what do you want to get out of the interview? Does knowing the candidate’s three weaknesses, or how they respond to that question, really give you what you’re looking for?

In fact, does answering questions in a manner that you’d expect them to be answered indicate whether the candidate can do their job well?

The jury is out on this. In saying that, be wary of ‘new age’ suggestions also. Take for example, the examples found in this Guardian article. One CEO said she texts prospective employees at 9pm or 11am on a Sunday, “just to see how fast [they’ll] respond”. This would be crossing a line, and likely to be a deterrent for quality job candidates.

There are a few new things to recommend adding to your interviewing process.

One is to throw in a few questions to gauge a candidate’s EQ, or emotional intelligence (e.g. “What sets you apart from the other candidates I’m interviewing?”). Other possibilities include personality and aptitude tests that can shed light on various aspects of a candidate’s skill set, beyond just how well they perform in interviews.

Reference checks are also an essential part of the process and will help you attain different perspectives and insights into your candidates. Reference checks ideally should occur before offering the job, however if you are offering the job before checking references, make sure that the job offer is conditional.

Onboarding and Induction

It is essential to map the right journey for your employees from the very start of their employment.

This begins with onboarding. Onboarding is the process for new employees to learn the necessary tools and knowledge to perform their job well. It also aims to integrate them with an existing organisation and its culture successfully.

A good induction will soften a new employee’s learning curve, and it is also a good opportunity to educate them about what you expect of both your new and existing employees. Putting the time into onboarding will benefit you, by making sure the employee can contribute to the business sooner.

Recruitment is a difficult process, and getting it right just became more important that ever. The above steps will help you adapt to the removal of the 90-day trial for your business.

For more information about 90-day trials, get in touch with Peninsula on 0800 675 700.

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