Introductory Review Period for New Hires

For most newly hired regular staff members, the Introductory Period consists of the first four months of employment at the University. This period may be extended with prior approval from Staff and Labor Relations. This period is used to determine if the staff member’s performance meets the expectations of the position and if continued employment is warranted. Staff members who terminate University employment must complete an Introductory Period upon their reemployment with the University. Former staff members of the University of Pennsylvania Health System must complete an Introductory Period when hired in a University position.

Notification 

New staff members must be informed of the existence and length of the Introductory Period at the time the offer of employment is made. The Introductory Period must be outlined in the offer letter. Use an offer letter template.

Penn's Online Performance Appraisal System

Supervisors can use the Online Performance Appraisal System to complete Introductory Review Period documents for newly hired staff members. Supervisors can establish performance goals for the period and complete the review for the new staff member. Both standard review forms and custom documents such as memo and letters can be completed in the Online Performance Appraisal System. 

If you're new to the Online Performance Appraisal System or need a refresher, these training modules will help: 

Introductory Period Steps

Before the Staff Member’s Arrival

Determine the appropriate introductory period for the position prior to making a job offer. If for business and operational needs, the introductory period should be longer than the normal first four (4) months of employment, consult with Staff and Labor Relations (215-898-6093) or your school/center human resources professional before finalizing the length of the introductory period. 

  • Outline the timeframe of the Introductory Period in the offer letter
  • Begin drafting performance goals/expectations for the Introductory Period and identify competencies needed in the position.

Upon Hire/Within the First Week of Employment

  • Give the staff member a copy of the position description
  • Establish written performance expectations and goals. Document expectations in the Introductory Performance Plan form or in an alternative form of documentation (e.g. letter, memo)
  • Meet with the new staff member to discuss the job responsibilities, performance expectations, relevant departmental policies, practices and procedures. Use the Online Performance Appraisal System to complete an deliver the performance goals and competencies to the staff member.
  • Ensure that the new staff member receives the appropriate orientation to the University, school/center and department.

Throughout the Introductory Period

  • Meet regularly with the staff member to give feedback on performance and the staff member’s progress at meeting expectations.  Document these discussions.
  • Provide staff member with appropriate training, resources and guidance
  • Remember to regularly recognize the staff member’s achievements
  • Consult early with Staff and Labor Relations or your school/center human resources professional if the staff member is not meeting expectations during the Introductory Period
  • Prior to the End of the Introductory Period
  • Consult early with Staff and Labor Relations or your school/center human resources professional if the staff member is not meeting goals/expectations during the Introductory Period.

Prior to the End of the Introductory Period

  • Based on the overall assessment of the staff member's performance during the Introductory Period, decide if you want to continue employment, extend the introductory period, or terminate the staff member's employment.
  • Consult with Staff and Labor Relations or your school/center human resources professional before completing and presenting the Introductory Review if you plan to extend the Introductory Period or terminate the staff member. This consultation should take place as early as possible. 
  • Complete the Introductory Review using the Online Performance Appraisal System. This review should be presented to the staff member on or before the end of the Introductory Period.

Following the Introductory Period

  • Continue to meet regularly with the staff member to give feedback on performance and staff member’s progress at meeting expectations and goals. Document these discussions.
  • Address performance issues in a timely manner.  You should consult with Staff and Labor Relations or your school/center human resources professional for assistance.
  • Update performance expectations as needed and share revisions with the staff member
  • Continue to provide the staff member with the appropriate training, resources and guidance
  • Discuss professional development plans and opportunities with the staff member
  • Remember to regularly recognize the staff member’s achievements