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Contract-to-hire trials

aka Lean Hire
At Cal.com, we take a very different approach to hiring. Most of our full time employees will be preceded in a 30 day contract-to-hire trial period. A contract will be administered for a 30 day period with the company, and then at the end of the contract a final decision will be made on whether the person will be brought on full time.
A lot of people ask (for very good reason) what “success” looks like during the trial. The trial is less about “showing why you should join” and more like “finding reasons why you shouldn’t join”
If we extend an offer as a trial, we do it because we think you could be a great addition to the team. The trial is the last step to show both to you and the team if there are any red flags while working on the team.
Don’t feel like you need to be excellent only during the trial. See this as some sort of dating: be you, authentic, real.
The trial is more about you than us: it’s your chance to work without committing immediately. Your job is to figure out:
Do I like …
  • the mission?
  • the code base?
  • my team members?
  • working with the founders?
  • the market?
  • building in public?
  • working async?
  • threads and looms?
  • wearing pyjamas?
Lastly, for us it’s a chance to get to know you too, before extending a proper contract. Why? Because it is terrible for everyone, if we poach you from your existing employer, sign you into a yearly commitment, and then you (or us) figure out it’s not a good fit.
The bad outcome: you left your existing job and took a big risk without any upside.
We hate firing. Every company does. By discontinuing a LeanHire trial it feels a bit less shitty because you haven’t fully committed yet.
Like dating, it’s perfectly fine to part ways after the second week.
TLDR:
  • a lean hire has no “goal” in a sense of “success”
  • it is a tool for you to look behind the scenes faster
  • discontinuing should feel less bad as firing (still sucks, I know 😞)