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Here's how you can use a probation period to find out if your employee is competent

by , 26 February 2013
If you're an employer, it's possible these questions have crossed your mind: Is my new employee the right person for the job? What must I do if he isn't? Here's how using a probation period will help you answer these questions by assessing your employee's performance.

'The cost of selecting the wrong person can run into hundreds of thousands, not to mention the potential negative impact to a company's morale and productivity,' says media site Dice.com. But there is a way to ensure you avoid this by assessing your employee's competency.

Here's how you can use a probation period to asses if you're employee is competent

According to the Labour Guide.co.za, the purpose of probation is to test the employee's work performance.

As an employer, you can put a newly hired employee on probation to check if he's suitable for the job before confirming his permanent employment. You'll need to work with your employee (probationer) by monitoring his performance and providing the necessary guidance, counseling and training.

The probation period should be between three and six months. It's important that a probation period is determined in relation to the job, as well as the time you'll need to assess the employee's suitability. 'However, there'll be exceptions like, specialist working environments when a longer period may be needed,' says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service. You can only extend the probation period for reasons that relate to the purpose of the probation. You must also ensure that the length of time is reasonable for what you need to assess.

It's important to remember that an employee on probation is an employee in all respects, except that permanent employment is conditional on the employee successfully completing his probation. In fact, 'contrary to popular belief, a probation clause is not a licence to fire the employee at will,' warns the Labour Guide.co.za.

Using a probation period will help you assess your employee's performance and give you a clear idea of what to do if your employee's not up to standard.

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