As a professional recruiter, I’ve heard the phrase “hire slow, fire fast” on many occasions. Not only did I use to believe in it, but I preached it to the many business owners with whom I’ve worked for years. Over time, my feelings on it have changed and here’s why.
If you’re too slow in the recruiting and hiring process, you may lose out on a good candidate. Chances are if someone is interviewing with you, then they are probably interviewing with others as well.
As for firing people, don’t rush it! You hired and trained them. You made an investment in them both financially and emotionally. Why would you want to rush them out?
Has that person taken the company credit card on a spending spree or cussed out one of your big customers? Probably not, but if they did, fire them now! Circumstances are different for each individual and situation, but what is the benefit of quickly firing someone before taking the time to sit down with them and figure out what’s going wrong?
If the person did a great job for you and then something changed, wouldn’t you be curious about what changed? Personally, I’d like to know why Bob, my top team member, all of a sudden fell to the bottom. Simply sitting down and asking him how he’s doing can give you great insight into what’s going on. Maybe it’s something life changing like finding out someone close to him has passed away or he’s getting a divorce. Perhaps it’s an easier fix like outdated processes. Unless you ask and get to the bottom of it, you’ll never know.
If you want to do something fast, go to your HR professional and ask them what the employees want to see happen or change in the company. If they don’t know, then start an “Idea Box” where employees can post ideas to help improve the company. You’ll need to follow-up with your staff and let them know “I hear you, and I reacted”. Now there’s a great opportunity to act quickly!