Hiring and Firing: It’s a Little Complex

When it comes to HR practices, you may have heard the phrase “slow to hire, quick to fire.” These words of wisdom advise company leaders, like yourself, to perform due care in selecting your next employee. Once you’ve decided on a candidate, fill that spot quickly and efficiently. And, if an employee doesn’t work out, be mentally prepared to fire him or her upon recognizing that they’re not the best fit.

If you find yourself wondering what it might look like to be slow to hire and quick to fire in your own workplace, read on.

Banish Hiring Fears
Speed and accuracy are not mutually exclusive. There are several reasons why you may hesitate in pulling the trigger for your next hire, such as poor hiring choices from your past or the lack of having strong HR process in place. Finding great people will undoubtedly take time – so take your time and make sure you feel confident in who you choose. At the same time, plodding to hire may cost you in the long run. Don’t prolong your timeline, which can lead to an over analysis of your decision. Also, don’t operate out of fear when you look to scale your business.

Hiring Timeline
Companies are slowing down their hiring timeline. The DHI Hiring Indicators reported that in 2015, the time employers took to hire their next employee increased from 28 days to 30 working days, and it seems to have increased steadily since then. Always remember, this process isn’t one-sided. That qualified candidate will have other opportunities, so don’t let a slow recruitment process allow them to slip away.

Quick but Thorough
Hire thoroughly instead of fast. You may screen resumes at a rapid pace, but the goal is not to make a snap judgment when it comes to extending that next job offer. By not taking time to be thorough in your process, you could unintentionally hurt the morale of your company.

Be Prepared
Prepare for the interview process as you expect a potential candidate would. If you don’t screen candidates, you’re wasting your valuable time and theirs. Oftentimes, most of the screening process work can be delegated to other staff members. Research that candidate and review their LinkedIn profile and past employers so you can fine-tune your questions and discern if they are a good fit.

What to Look For In a New Hire
Birds of a feather flock together, so depending on your role, introduce this potential employee to other coworkers to see if they would fit into your company’s culture. Develop a robust hiring process that provides filters so you can find strong candidates from the beginning. It’s intuitive to think that since you will spend most of your time around fellow employees that you should be the one talking to them in the hiring process, but make sure to include some company leadership as part of the interview process too. You want to hire someone that aligns with your company’s vision. During your first meeting with a potential candidate, you need to receive clarification on if they can do the task at hand. Additionally, use this time to determine if this person can deliver the results required.

Watch For Red Flags
During the first 90 days of hiring a new employee, be on the lookout for red flags that your new hire isn’t a great fit. While it’s a goal for all hires to stay long-term, sometimes it’s best to part ways early. To avoid red flags, work together to provide feedback by connecting with your new employee face to face weekly. Intentionally check with your new employee to see how they are adjusting to their new role and ask for feedback. Remember that new employees are viewing your company with a fresh perspective. By asking direct questions, they could provide great insight into some gaps in the training process that you had not considered or felt needed for the program.

Firing an Employee
Set your company’s expectations and clearly outline its policies as part of your HR onboarding to ensure you’re on the same page from the start. Even so, sometimes hires just don’t work out. After investing time to train them, it’s usually worth sitting down with that employee to find out why their performance has gone awry. If, after a few clear expectation-guided conversations, things have not changed, you may need to cut ties and let them go before a problem escalates.

Even if firing is your least favorite part of the job, it is a task that needs to be done right for the benefit of your company. Don’t ignore issues or let your company become a hostage to a disruptive employee to avoid hurt feelings. Instead, practice firing with empathy, as it is not easy on both parties to part ways.

In a nutshell, if you find a great candidate, don’t hesitate to move forward in the hiring process. With the fast-moving pace of business, being slow to hire allows your potential employee to lose interest in the position. On the other hand, if you find yourself firing employees regularly, you need to review and change your hiring process. Hiring is your most significant opportunity as a company leader. If your business attracts great candidates and treats your new employees with respect, your organization will only thrive.

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