Transitioning Employees from Probation to Confirmation

Recruitment begins the employee life cycle. The entire process of talent acquisition moulds and melts the talent for the organization. The genotype and the phenotype activities included during this phase are from the business, legal and psychological standpoint. Business requires piloting the talent hired in the organization’s environment to check the performance viability. Legal guidelines require the personal and organization’s rights, benefits and freedom to be maintained as per the statutory norms. The compatibility is checked in the psychological scope of activities. Here’s a question as raised by a member:

I work in an IT company of 15 staff members as HR personnel. This is a newly formed company and I am the only person looking after the HR dept. We have issued offer letters to the employees, we haven’t yet begun with the practice of issuing appointment letters. I am in the process to finalize an appointment letter format. I have searched few using research tab, but shall be glad if you can suggest an ideal one. Secondly, in the offer letter we have mentioned 3 months of probation period, most of the employees have crossed the probation period. I would like to know what are the formalities for confirming an employee. What would be the possible recommendations that I would have to suggest to my management regarding this matter?”

The transition from a probation to confirmation starts with administrative activities during the last few weeks of the probationary period. An organization may declare 3 months to 6 months as the probationary period. This duration is to check the viability of the talent within the company. Ideally the first 3 months are spent on training, though this training period can go upto 2 years in certain manufacturing companies. This period begins with the induction and orientation in to the organization’s culture and process. It is followed by classroom and on-the-job training. During these sessions the information about the company and how to deliver the job is shared. Fundamentally this phase is a measure of the employee’s learning curve. The feedback from superiors weighs the areas that require focus to be developed and the opportunity areas for the employee. This effort is duplicated on every frontier. Legally the benchmarks set to meet are fulfilled. Let’s take a look at the scheme of events followed during this transition:


  • The PF accounts are opened for the new hires whereas for the laterals the accounts are transferred from their former employers to the later.
  • The legal standards for the background of the employee are checked through reference check which may include educational, professional and legal details. In certain sectors such as Information Technology, complete background verification can include a check at the local police station for any criminal records.
  • Few organizations follow a strict rule for substance abuse. Consequently a medical check-up is completed before joining the organization.
  • The legal compliance would vary from sector-to-sector. The hiring of different spectrum of talents such as expats will include auditing the visa validity and work permits during the probationary period.


  • The training begins from the minute a new hire joins the organization. The first-hour induction followed by orientation and technical training grooms the talent. A close observation of the new hires helps the management team find an alignment of skills and competencies with the requirement.
  • Recruitment helps in identifying the alignment between the talent and the organization. Whereas during the probationary period, the gaps in the delivery for the employee, is essentially identified. These opportunity areas are trained and developed into strengths.
  • The classroom-training, maps the learning capabilities of the new hire. Whereas the on-the-job training, measures the implementations, adherence and improvisations implied by the new hire.
  • The ‘can-do’ to exceeding expectation emerges as the action item list for the new hire.
  • Scorecards are initially explained to the new hire and goal plans are drawn. The career path within the organization is marked.
  • Towards the last few weeks of the probation the assessment forms including the feedbacks and scores of the individual is complied and sent to the HR Team from the reporting managers.
  • There are organizations that may offer a bonus at the time of probation. Mostly, the bonus and hikes are paid during the annual salary increase post appraisal.
  • Though the retrials including the PF and Gratuity starts from day 1 of the employment, benefits such as Mediclaim may get initiated post confirmation. During probation these benefits are not allowed, even though the names are included for the Insurance list.
  • Once the feedback sheets are collected and complied, the HR Team coordinates a meeting between the first and second level leadership with the new employee, at the end of the probation to provide a feedback. In case the employee is not found worthy for confirmation, the appropriate feedback is provided. At times a Personal Improvement Program is initiated on the employee to bring the employee upto the speed. This has a detailed program to develop the core areas required to perform the job. The development is discussed and accepted.
  • In case the performance is found to meet the expectations the employee is confirmed and a goal path is discussed. Under these circumstances, areas for training, for further enhancement would be discussed. HR would thereafter issue the letter to the employee, confirming the services.


  • The individual needs to find the alignment between the job and self. The Culture needs to be inculcated but cannot be up-rooted if the individual was from a different one.
  • This time is invested to identify the work -group mentors and sponsors in the organization. In some organization, there are buddy programs and mentoring programs officially managed. Even in the absence of it, an individual effort drives such bonding.
  • The training and the apprentice phase prepares the employee mentally to think for the organization and deliver the level best.

The transition finally ends with the employee being declared billable and proceeds further with the employee life cycle.  The way this transition is managed impacts the productivity of the employee in the later stages.

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  • kshantaram

    completion of probation period enhances the notice period of the employee as per organisation policy for different cadres. some organisations have the same notice period even during the probation period for sr managerial cadres and confirmation is a mere formality.

    it is critical to review performance and behaviour during the probation period. making it a mere formality leads to building a set of non-performers or misbehaving people who have to be dealt with subsequently – could lead to a list of non-performers who get identified during the annual appraisal exercise and have to be asked to quit or outplaced as a special exercise. managers as leaders are lenient and normally recommend a confirmation of the employee reporting to them and crib about not having the right team when tighter strategic goals are set. as a preventive measure a stringent recruitment procedure and on-boarding procedure helps select and train the right kind of people for the organisation, while the vigil need not be diluted during the confirmation procedures and recruits who do not comply with performance standards need to be weeded out politely giving sufficient notice. it is absurd to say during the probation period one can be asked to leave overnight without assigning any reasons which sounds arbitary – unless it is a case of gross misconduct and an example needs to be set across. the legal probation period is just 3 months. in the interest of natural justice an adequate legal procedure ideally needs to be followed, however.

    a probationer is an employee taken into a vacancy which is likely to be made permanent. hence any notice of non-performance or misconduct must be served well and a procedure followed before one is asked to leave, legally speaking. the performance review could be conducted during the probation as frequently as possible say two-three times and non-performers must be informed accordingly informing them about the consequences. the appraisal should not be conducted at the last moment when the probation period has already been completed and the employee is at a loss what will happen to his confirmation. in case an extension is given the review should be promptly conducted again before the final decision is taken.

    it is a nice practice to reward outstanding performers with some rise in salary on completion of the promotion period which could send the right signals to the new cadre of employees encouraging to raise the benchmarks of performance in the organisation. most small or medium scale organisations lack conceptual clarity and are stingy of passing over any reward at the time of confirmation with a view to control the salary budgets of the organisation and include all employees for a raise only at the annual performance appraisal exercise only. to prevent duplicity of rewards, a rise given during the confirmation time could be adjusted from the formal appraisal salary rise. now a days people expect fast responsibility and rewards and it is right to reward as instantly as possible rather than delaying a well deserved appreciation.

    similarly during confirmation one must take care to see at the promises made during the recruitment about designation or salary review upon confirmation – such carrots are normally handed over orally during the interviews and are conveniently forgotten and are not on formal approved record causing heart burns. such promises need to be subject to performance and must be complied with if one meets the expected standards of performance. nothing wrong in recording the promise made on the interview evaluation sheet or even formally mentioning it in the offfer letter/appointment letter to avoid ambiguity. no manager or supervisor must be allowed to make any off the cuff promise leading to false expectations and must be held accountable for such false promises made when such a formal promise has been made appropriate feedback both oral and in writing need to be provided in case one does not qualify for the intended raise.

    unkept promises could be one of the significant reasons for employee attrition impacting the brand image of the organisation and spreading rumours around in the employment market sounding unprofessional and mistrust.

    moreover, confirmation letters must be handed over the day one completes his probation period as a healthy hr practice which leaves a long lasting positive impression on the new employee about the organisation soundness, rather than keep lingering in beurocratic procedures and unwarranted delays. the personnel department, the departmental managers and the directors need to operate in synchronisation to achieve hr objectives under the right people oriented values system in the organisation not handling such hr matters casually while setting benchmarks of organisational excellence in all matters not leaving anything to chance.

    hope this sharing helps,

    humble regards,


  • vijay gohil

    Hi. i am vijay gohil
    Can anybody able to say that maximum how long can be probation period for new appointee? And if his performance not satisfactory how long we can extend probation?

  • Thankyou for your contributions. You have added on to our learning . Please share any case of non-adherence , that you came across. Your suggestions are valued as they would be a great input for every company, looking forward to implement or review this.

  • Ideally Probation is for the first six months of the employment. But depending on the business requirement, it can be three months as well. The cost of training and the duration to make a talent billable decides on this. Post probation, the benefits would increase. Hence the cost of benefit offered to the employees need to be justified while making this decision.

  • Evprabhu

    It as been observed some employees thinks that after confirmation they cannot be touched , Their bahaviour changes towards the organisation and superiors.
    why like this any comments please.

  • Well, confirmation process induces certain guidelines which protects a talent , with a greater notice period and adds benefits to be drawn from the company in lieu of its services. But that still implies that any non-adherence to the code of conduct and performance parameters would be not be tolerated. The mis-concepts related to greater safety gets eroded with constant reinforcement of performance parameters.