Hire Slow Fire Fast

Did you ever heard of the saying “Hire Slow Fire Fast”? Does this sound too American for you?

Well, there is one lesson I learned: Take your time to hire somebody, manage closely and if it does not work, go separate ways fast.

When it comes to business decisions and especially to building a team, it is essential, that you hire slow and fire fast if necessary.

The negative effects, if you don’t do so are dramatic.

The wrong person in your company can affect the moral of the whole team, the training and behavior of new team members and the way your customers see your company, just to name a few.


Selecting the right people

When it comes to hiring someone new, take your time to select the right person. There is no sense in rushing it. If you rush a decision like this, it is going to cost you more, most of the time then the fast decision-making is worth it.

The second thing when hiring is to make sure you have enough choice available. The more choices you have available, the more likely you are to find the right fit for the position and the company.

Another aspect of hiring slow is to take your time to evaluate the candidates. Get personality profile tests, let the candidates do test exercises, interview them thoroughly. Don’t try to cut corners here.

I made the mistake in the past that I relied on one interview and a company that preselected the candidate. I trusted that their pre-selection process is proficient but I never asked for details. It turned out that the candidate was brilliant in selling himself, but a simple personality test would have revealed that he was not what I was looking for. I was fooled by the right answers.

So, don’t feel rushed into a decision. Take your time and evaluate the choices when filling a position in your company.


The Costs to Not Hire Slow Fire Fast

The costs of having the wrong person on the team are not just limited to replacing the person and the lost time investment in training them at first.

Having an inappropriate teammate on board will not only be inefficient, but it could even cause other employees to leave the ship. Other people who are valuable members of your team might want to quit as well.

If you want to have a high-performing team, every team member has to deliver their part. Bringing in an underperformer or a misfit, will demotivate the rest of your team to a degree that you might not even foresee.

On top of that, when an incompetent team member is training others, it is going to influence and affect all new hires that get trained by that person. This will have a ripple effect into your entire organization. All people trained by that team member might have to be trained again or even be replaced.


Consequences of the concept “Hire Slow Fire Fast”

Selecting the right people for your team is more important than filling an open spot. Take your time and choose from an abundance of candidates.

If you hired somebody and you find that they are not a good fit, start immediately with corrective actions. First of all, give them a chance to improve their performance. Give them clear instructions and test exercises so that they can prove that they can do it better. Give them feedback, tell them what you want them to achieve.

Often, it is not from hour one the best fit. But many times, you can train the hire to what you want them to do. Everything is learnable. Thus, manage new hire and give your best to help them become the “right” fit for the position and the company.

After you tried this and the result is still not satisfactory, don’t wait too long to get rid of them.

If it does not work, it does not work!

It is about your company. Therefore, you should not have any negative sentiments or guilt feelings about this.  This is a business decision and it is required to protect your business and your other staff.

Also consider that maybe the new hire is also not happy with the situation and might even be happy if you call it. It may turn into your best decision ever to let somebody go. For you and for them.


A real-life example

I worked for a consulting company and they hired some negative minded people. However, in consulting, you must solve other people’s problems all day long and this requires optimism to find solutions.

I told the management that this person has a really negative mindset, negative language, curses a lot and that this is not what we want to see in business. They said that this is not that important because they are still young and will adapt to the company culture. But the management team did not “manage” them and it only got worse.

When the next people were hired and this person trained them, what do you think? They also started speaking in negative language and cursed around.

As a result of missing intervention, the high-performers of the company did not wanted to hear this negativity all day long. They started putting headphones on, the whole collaboration got worse and some people even quit because they did not wanted to deal with this.

Lesson learned: Hire slow, fire fast. For the sake of all parties involved.

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