HR Nola Staff Blog
Slow to hire Quick to fire
HR Nola Staffer Molly Bruner
We’ve all heard the saying “Slow to Hire, Quick to Fire,” but what does this really mean to
today’s small businesses? This might sound like a harsh approach to the employment life cycle,
and to some it is, but this is the reality of operating a small business where every new employee
or termination has an impact. Let’s look at the “Slow to Hire” piece… by taking the time to make
the correct hiring choice, you are ensuring that you are making the best decision for your
company, your management team and your bottom line. Typically in small businesses,
companies can only hire a handful of people per year, so by taking your time and making the
best possible choice, you are saving time, resources and energy. On the flip side, being “Quick
to Fire,” doesn’t make you an inhumane employer, but rather a responsible one; one who is
aware of a mistake made and would rather quickly make a change, rather then drag out the
inevitable. Let’s talk about 3 ways you can improve your hiring process by slowing it down, and
3 ways you can identify and correct a bad hire, should you have one.
3 Tips for Hiring Slow
1) Identifying the Right Needs & Skills: What does this person look like? What skills do
they possess? The first step to any hiring process is to thoroughly identify the ideal
candidate for the role and the skills and qualities needed. The best tool to start with is a
well formulated job description. Most employers have some type of job description, but
to really make them work for you, take the time to really flush one out. Partner with the
hiring manager, members of this person’s team and others within the company to
identify your list of ideal qualities and characteristics. Of course, a perfect candidate is
few and far between, but really, truly knowing what type of candidate would succeed in
this role and taking the time to lay this out ahead of interviewing will set you up for
success and make it easier to identify those candidates who might not succeed. You
also want to be certain you need another person to fill that role. It could be that the team
can manage successfully, even with the open role. They may identify new ways to
handle the extra workload or become more efficient in their roles and procedures.
2) Develop the Interview & Offer Process: If you’ve successfully determined that a new
employee is needed to meet the needs of your team and company, the next best step is
to begin searching. If you have had success in hiring candidates from certain platforms,
post the job description to those sites. Include the hiring process in the job description so
that potential candidates are aware of what to expect as they go through your process.
You want to make sure that your hiring process is clearly defined and you know exactly
who needs to participate in each step. Does your process require a phone-screen to
start, followed by an onsite and offer? What about a competency test? In addition, do
you need to do a background and drug screen before employment? Knowing what
information you need to make the best decision will make the hiring process a much
smoother experience and will result is a successful hire. It’s also best practice to know
which questions will be asked at which stage so that you are not duplicating efforts or
wasting valuable time asking the same questions at every stage. Make sure your team
members know what areas they are responsible for clarifying, whether that is previous
employment, personality questions, etc. and that they stick to the script. A key takeaway
we’ve heard from numerous candidates is the lack of communication throughout the
process. You want to make sure that you are providing feedback when possible and that
you maintain open communication with the candidate after every step. If you anticipate a
delay for whatever reason, make sure that they are aware and let them know when they
can expect to hear back from you regarding next steps. While these multiple steps,
communication and pre-employment testing might seem like overkill, it is a lot easier on
the company to pass on a candidate then it is to terminate an employee.
3) Day One & Beyond: Once you’ve made the offer to the candidate and they have
accepted, it is important that you have a developed New Hire Orientation and
Onboarding experience in place. After all of the work you’ve put into finding this
candidate, you don’t want it to fall apart because they didn’t receive the support needed
when they started. Ways to do this include having a New Hire Orientation program,
where they learn the “ins-and-outs” of your company, “pro-tips” from other employees,
such as a tour around the office, nearby coffee shops, who to go to for what, and other
small factors that can contribute to a successful beginning. Your Onboarding process
should include having their desk set-up, their paperwork available and ready to be
completed, logins and access components available and anything else they need to get
started. It’s a good idea to have them meet with several employees after they start as a
way to get to know their coworkers and start to create a sense of community. If they start
off on the right foot, you’re ensuring your efforts will pay off in finding a long term,
3 Tips for Firing Fast
1) Save Your Money, Your Teams & Your Resources: When taking into consideration
the cost of training, lost productivity for that role and others, as well as time and effort
invested in the hiring process, the cost associated with a bad hire can be almost as
much as that person’s salary. Even though firing someone can be costly in and of itself,
the longer you let that person retract from the team, you are costing the company more
and more money. In addition, if there are team members who have to pick up the slack
of the new team member or spend their time training them, you’re wasting money and
time there. Not to mention having someone who is a drain on the team’s moral, causing
even more lost productivity and a damper on the team culture. Like the old saying goes,
“one bad apple can ruin the bunch,” and the longer this employee continues to work with
the team, the more likely they are to spread the negativity around. Protect your team and
your money and cut your losses as soon as a problem is identified.
2) Don’t Procrastinate: Studies show that by the time someone determines it is time to
terminate an employee, they are about 6-weeks past the correct point of doing so. The
longer you allow a problem to fester and continue to interact with your team members,
the higher the chances are that they will begin to impact the rest of the team. It might be
tempting to continue to give them time, or keeping thinking they might improve their
behavior, pick up on the skillsets needed, etc. but this type of procrastination only
prolongs the inevitable. Aside from the employee impacting their team members directly,
the team members themselves might start to question your decision-making skills and
management ability due to your decision to allow someone to stay on-board when they
are not a good fit. As soon as you feel the need to part ways with an employee, listen to
your gut and do it immediately – don’t let them ruin the bunch!
3) Stay Strong: Like we’ve been discussing, your team is your most valuable resource and
they’re only as strong as their weakest link. By keeping someone on-board longer then
they should be, you are running the risk of damaging resources and hurting your bottom
line. This goes hand-in-hand with lowering the quality of your products and services as
well. When you make the decision to terminate someone, stick to your gut and move
forward. You’ll be happier and have a more productive team if you do.
At the end of the day, the decisions made around hiring and firing employees need to be made
carefully and thoughtfully, but at two different speeds. When it comes to hiring, be thorough,
effective, and think long and hard about committing to an employee and finalizing that
relationship. On the other hand, when it comes to firing, as soon as issues are identified, don’t
procrastinate and remove the problem before it becomes and even larger issue.
New Year - New HR resolutions
January 29th, 2019
By: HR Nola Staff
Now that we’ve spent a few weeks in 2019, it’s time to really take a look at how we should shape our resolutions for the remainder of the year. The HR Nola staff is constantly committed to continuing to grow not only on its own, but with the clients that we serve. Our staff has compiled a list of HR resolutions for themselves and their clients that we think can serve as some key inspiration for your business. Let’s check them out!
It’s important to continue professional development far into our business careers. Our staff member, Jake Dufour, reminds us that even when it’s easy to put it off, keeping up with our industry trends is paramount to keeping up with today’s problems and solutions
My HR resolution for 2019 is to make more time for professional reading. It is a great way to gain new perspectives, spark new ideas, and motivate yourself. With to-do lists, reminders, and calendars on multiple devices, it is easy to push reading professional publications, books, and articles to the next day (or week). This year, I am carving out designated times each week to sit down and read.
It can also be hard to keep up with other business leaders in our own community. HR Nola staffer Chris Freeman reminds us of the importance of building those key relationships, especially in a new year.
My resolution is to build relationships with key business leaders that we support. It is critical that human resources professionals know and learn about the businesses that they support. It is also helpful to build relationships with key individuals that support these businesses. If we communicate effectively the importance of human capital and how our policies and programs can support goals, then we can help businesses of all shapes and sizes thrive.
It’s also important to keep a finger on the pulse of the ever changing employment law landscape. HR Nola member Molly Bruner reminds us:
It’s important that we as HR professionals and business owners stay ahead of potential law changes while refreshing our existing law knowledge each year. These laws exist to serve businesses and their employees, and it’s important, especially as an HR practitioner, to keep up with how these laws can affect our clients.
Finally, HR Staffer Ashley Sorrells is committed to helping others in her industry grow. It is a great way to not only network with the future of your industry, but also to pay your success forward.
I want to help foster the next generation of HR by working with colleges and college students in the area. By sharing my knowledge, I not only give the benefits that I received during my initial career growth, but I also gain an understanding of the next generation of HR professional’s directions and mindsets.
HR Nola is committed to helping your business grow and set realistic goals and resolutions for your business in 2019. Call us today at 833.HRNola.1 or visit us at hrnola.com to get started!