The adage suggests that business leaders should be slow to take on new employees, but quick to fire them if they aren’t working out. Twenty years ago, that was wise advice. But in today’s fast-paced world, with accelerating change and fierce competition, I’m going to suggest that doing anything slowly is a recipe for disaster.
Certainly, you want to be sure (as sure as is reasonable to expect) that the people you hire are the right fit for your company. Certainly you want to check their references carefully, and proceed with due diligence. But if you know you have a need, you’d better get about the business of filling that need.
As for firing fast, I definitely support that idea. I suggest that you shorten the typical probationary period from 90 days to 30 days. By then, you’ll have a decent idea about how this person is working out. And if you have to replace them, again, you need to get it done before you waste another workday. Don’t invest your organization’s time, efforts, and other resources trying to fix a problem employee. If you’re genuinely not sure after 30 days, figure out a plan for corrective action, explain the plan to the employee, and follow the plan to the letter. You do no one a favor by coddling to underperforming employees.
Are you changing your hiring practices this year? Post a comment and let me know.