Are You Ready To Audition As An IT Pro?

We're familiar with the three-month probationary period, where an employer can work out if you fit the role and you have time to decide if your boss is a psycho. But how would you feel about "auditioning" for a tech job before you actually got offered it?

Picture: Getty Images

The New York Times notes that tech companies are increasingly adopting the reality-TV-like audition approach, where staff are hired to work but only given a temporary role for between a week and 30 days. It's not a classic contracting position — there's the promise of employment if you suit the role — but it does make it much easier to get rid of you quickly.

Do you think that approach makes sense? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Uncertain About Hiring, Some Companies Try 'Test Drives' [The New York Times via Business Insider]


    Not quite the same, but I recently had to "audition" for my second interview as a consultant at a software company by using a case study and presenting to the boss, based on a case study given to me. For an accounting role, I was also asked to prepare a set of basic accounts and conduct a mock client meeting - seems to be getting common nowadays.

    For the hiring company this may be a better way of ensuring they are hiring staff that fit the role and the company's culture but the potential employee will lose out.

    What do they tell their current employer? " I'm going to take a week to a month off to audition for a new job" and in the event it doesn't pan out and the current employer becomes aware things could get awkward real quick.

    This is a bunch of ar*e ! Certainly doesn't benefit the employee. It's like me - I'm on a 12 month mat-leave-cover contract (6 months in) with my current employer - and they tried to do a little bit of shafting during the hiring process to sneak in their 'standard' 6 month probation period. "F*ck that" I told them - if I'm only here for 12 months potentially, there's no way I'm living with a bullet aimed firmly at my head for half that time. So yeah, we jawed it down to 3 months and I passed that with flying colours. Employers really need to pull their heads in sometimes, the sh*t they think they can get away with !

      Please make sure you identify yourself if you ever apply for a job with me. I want to know so I can cut it short and move on to the next candidate and not waste your time.

      Your Snarky "what's in it for me" attitude is exactly what we don't want or need when hiring people with whom we aim to work closely for years on end.

      Building teams with younger, impressionable staff already struggling to understand the difference between their helicopter-parented childhood and the commercial realities if small business is hard enough.

      Best of luck in 6 months when your temp gig turns back into a pumpkin.

        Oh dear. Since I entered the workforce part-time twenty years ago in 1994 (last year of high school) , and subsequently full-time after graduating uni in 1999, I've worked in a variety of roles and industries 'Employer1'. This has included stints as a recruitment consultant, and working for an employment website. I've managed millennials before and agree they can be a fekking nightmare with their unrealistic expectations and sense of entitlement. However, in those 20 years I've also seen the UTTER disregard some Aussie businesses (particularly small businesses) have for their employees. Things like not paying people's correct superannuation, people being 'constructively dismissed' because they couldn't be legitimately fired, women being 'restructured out' while on maternity leave and so on. Look, no-one but a Gen-Y is niaive enough to expect most workplaces to be like Attlasian or Google. But there are some BASICS I think we all have a right to expect, and not being d*cked around during the recruitment process is one of them.

    I'd consider it if it satisfies certain conditions:
    -I'm not leaving an existing job for the position. If I'm currently not employed or have so much leave I can just take a week off at short notice, sure.
    -It's paid at casual/contract rates for the 'audition' period.
    -They're not auditioning multiple people at once for the same role. I'm fine with my work being under a bit of extra scrutiny, I'm not fine with forced competition while learning the ropes.

    There is potential for abuse by companies - taking on ten staff as 'auditions' for a peak period/small project, paying them less than standard contractors, and then letting them all go a month later...But in a lot of IT positions you aren't productive at first. You might be able to get level 1 tech support up and working in a few days, but your network engineers or senior systems analysts or programmers can take weeks just to get up to speed.

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