I have a personal project (web app) which is going well and I think there's a realistic chance of it growing into a startup, at which point I would have to hire people.
This would be the first time I've done anything like this. I've been daydreaming about what the hiring process might be like, when there's only me in the beginning. Technology interviews are notorious for testing people on things which don't necessarily predict the quality of the hire.
I was thinking of doing something like this.
Candidate sends their CV, gets a phone call, and an interview on the order of, say one hour. So far so normal.
If the interview goes well, the candidate is hired for up to one day (perhaps the same day), and paid by the hour for however many hours it ends up being. On this day they'd be given access to source code and development systems as if they were an employee and asked to do a few challenging and time-limited tasks which are actually relevant to the project.
If the first day goes well, the candidate is hired for up to one week, paid per day for however many days it ends up being. Again they're asked to do actually relevant work, but this time they're not being time pressured and the tasks would be larger in scope. Here they'd be demonstrating their self-management skills as much as anything else.
If the first week goes well they're given a normal contract, probationary for the first few months, and treated as a full employee.
The upsides to this process as I see it are that the candidate is being more thoroughly tested in the real work environment, and paying the candidate to do anything beyond a couple of hours' interview seems reasonable.
I can anticipate the potential downsides of legal and managerial overhead, this looks like it will involve a significant upfront investment of effort to organise. Also for the first week the candidate could be fired at any moment, this might create a threatening atmosphere. For a one-man team which is just starting to expand, maybe this sets the wrong tone.
Instinctively, this feels like a good idea, but I haven't heard of anyone hiring this way.
Is it a good idea? Do you have experience seeing anything like this go well or badly?