Never skip the trial period…
As an Estate Manager or an employer, amongst other duties, you also have to hire and fire staff. Of course, hiring is the funnest part.
You’ve done all the hard work of vetting candidates and you think you’re ready to hire. But wait… It’s always highly advisable that before you sign a contract with someone you trial them.
So you arrange a trial, which can be anywhere from 1 day to 7 days up to 2 weeks at the most. You will have a longer probation period in the contract anywhere between 1 month to 6 months, but you want to make sure that you save yourself all the headache before even signing a contract.
How does the trial period work and what do you need to know about the process?
As mentioned above, before you officially employ someone, it’s best that you arrange a trial. Inform the prospective candidate about the fact that you want to do a trial and check their availability.
Decide and agree from the beginning the length of trial: the number of hours worked, the duties, and any other expectations you hav. This way everybody is clear on what’s happening and what’s expected. You also need to be clear on the pay for this trial period.
Trial the candidate during the normal working days that you will need her to work. So for example if you are trialing a nanny you need to work Mon to Fri, do not trial during the weekend, because the children’s routines might be different and she will not get a feel for the usual tasks/ responsibilities etc.
If you want the candidate to follow your exact routine, then have them shadow you for a couple of days so they see exactly how you like things to be done. Try and be open to any new ideas they might have but if you think it does not suit your situation/ your family/ your children, then discuss this from the start.
Once you feel confident enough that the candidate is now capable to follow your desired routine, give them a few days on their own and discuss how it went at the end of each day.
Make some time at the end of the whole trial period to discuss how it all went and be open about any concerns that you might have, whilst also listening to the candidate’s points of view.
The benefits of a trial period
There are no cons regarding trial benefits as long as clients understand that trial periods should not replace their needs for a temporary member of staff.
The benefits of a trial period are multiple:
- See your candidate in action
- Get to know their personality a bit better
- This time doubles as training for them to adapt to your specific needs so they will be that much closer when (if) they start
- It will help you see the differences between a few of your candidates rather quickly
Why Do I have to Pay for Trialling candidates?
Some clients wrongly believe that they can trial their candidates without paying them. This is unethical and starts your relationship off on a bad foot.
All prospective domestic staff should be paid their normal hourly rate during a trial period. As mentioned above, the terms of the trial period including the pay, should be discussed in the beginning and ideally everything should be put in writing before a trial is started.
About Polo & Tweed
Polo & Tweed is a luxury domestic staffing agency. We help you to find the right nanny, butler, housekeeper, etc. (view full list of services), working for you from start to finish. If you are in need further advice about any step of the hiring process, feel free to reach out to us for advice.