How fast do you fire people in your business? I’ll bet it’s not as fast as it probably should be. And what difference can it make to your business when you make a ‘good’ hire, as opposed to a bad one?
Based on my own experiences of recruitment, in this blog post I’m going to be tackling these questions and many more. You can read my previous post on this topic here: My 5 Biggest Challenges In Growing And Leading A Team.
This is the Diary of an Entrepreneur!
Hiring slow, firing fast – and is this just BS?
I’m yet to meet anyone in business who follows this rule. We like to give people second chances, and in some cases, third, fourth and fifth chances.
Everyone has a life outside of work
Should I have fired faster in the past for performance? Absolutely, 100% yes. However, people have lives and their own personal stuff going on. So you should be aware and observant enough to see this. Don’t get angry! Talk, do some digging and figure out where the problems lie instead of going in there like a bull in a china shop destroying everything.
However, if you’ve given them one chance after another and they’re still not performing where you need them to be, or following simple instructions seems difficult, then it’s time to get some advice from your HR team and most likely move them on. That’s the harsh reality of it.
In the early stages of any performance review procedures, I believe in following your heart. However, there comes a point where your business hat needs to be placed firmly on your head and those tough – but incredibly important – decisions need to be made.
Again, it’s easy for me to say that, but I’ve been there before where I know I should have got rid of somebody sooner but I didn’t. I was giving them the benefit of the doubt time and time and time again, and eventually, I pulled the plaster off and fired them.
I genuinely do not enjoy firing people – I’ve only had to do it a couple of times, but I’ll tell you what, it was the best decision each time. Once that plaster was ripped off, everything changed.
Acting quickly and always being prepared
I also don’t believe in always hiring slow, either. Sometimes you have to act quickly to take advantage of new opportunities. For example, it might be a new client that’s come in and offered you a massive deal.
So, my motto is ‘always be prepared’ – I’m constantly recruiting. Don’t just be recruiting when you feel like you need to recruit – be constantly recruiting! If you feel like you can afford it and you’re big enough, have somebody working in your HR team who’s always looking out for that next talent as and when you need them.
Get your team’s eyes open and have them looking at what’s out there. Then, it’s all about building those relationships as soon as you possibly can.
The difference a good vs bad hire can make
I’ve been here a few times. A bad hire can kill so many aspects of your business, and just as much as bad cashflow. Just one person can kill confidence and morale in your team without you even knowing!
In the past, I’ve been blindsided by believing that everything was perfect, the team was getting along, all clients were happy and so on. All that was happening was that certain bad hires in the business were hiding things from me and the team, and they were letting bad rot set into the woodwork. It got worse and worse and worse, and eventually, it reared its ugly head and we had to move people on.
Bad hires: minimal effort, no vision and badmouthing
These bad hires were putting in minimal effort. Anything above the bare minimum, they let you know about it. And listen, all businesses go through this. There are times where you have to roll your sleeves up and put in that little bit more effort to get things over the line – and that’s life! That’s just the way it is.
Whether you get paid in overtime or in lieu, get extra perks and benefits or you’re able to work flexibly… all businesses go through it. Yes, there are businesses who take advantage of their employees and they should be ashamed of themselves. However, for the most part, it’s just about a genuine love of the job and everyone being on the same page of wanting to grow the business.
A bad hire will badmouth you to the team, clients and suppliers. I’ve had clients and suppliers come to me and mention a few things that have gone on, and I’ve been gobsmacked. It’s happened, and I’m sure it will happen again a few times in the future (but touch wood!).
Good hires: boosted morale, brand new methods, better collaboration
On the other hand, a good hire can grow your business overnight. They can increase team morale and boost your own motivation as the head of the business. They can also introduce new ways of doing things that you’ve never thought of before – the quicker you can get there in particular, the better.
Plus, having a mixture of experienced and talented team members working alongside those that might be new to this world or industry can also work incredibly well.
Again, the whole football metaphor: you’ve got players in the team that have been around a bit and they’ve been to Cup Finals and won championships and medals. Then, there’s the youth players that haven’t had any of that experience, but because they’re working alongside somebody who has, they get to share some of that knowledge.
To sum up, the difference between a good and bad hire is insane. A bad hire could literally destroy everything.
Thank you for reading this chapter of the Diary of an Entrepreneur. I must stress, I’m not trying to teach you anything. I’m just sharing my journey, and if it motivates you, then great – job done!
If you want to hear more about my entrepreneurial journey, check out the Diary of an Entrepreneur podcast on all available platforms – I talk all things business in terms of my OWN journey and experience. It’s not one to miss!