How to Ensure You Don’t Go From Hiring to Firing

Editor’s Note: This article was previously published on

I doubt if firing two employees (so far in my entrepreneurial career) qualifies me to dispense advice on how to fire erring staff but it has taught me that telling someone her services are no longer needed is something I do not enjoy and hope not to be ever faced with, at least in the next few years.

Having said that I was just thinking ‘what is the best way to avoid having to sack somebody?’. As a young entrepreneur sacking your staff will not come easy and a better way to avoid that is to hire right.

How Then Does One Hire Right

Hiring the right employee is not a straight forward issue. Granted a little bit of luck is needed as I believe that no matter how rigorous and intensive your hiring process is you may just end up hiring somebody who will not just fit in. There are various scenarios that may go wrong. You might hire the best hardworker and he gets bust ups with virtually every member of staff and causes so much bad blood that you cannot simply over look. You can get that very talented designer who ends up not being able to follow instructions. You simply do your best to recruit the best hands for your business and hope to manage them effectively.

Determine the Key Indices You Cannot Do Without

When you want to hire and not have to fire the same employee a few months or years down the line you have to get focused on the key things you are looking for in an employee. Granted you are not looking for a Mr Perfect so you must be able to list the key qualities you think will make the propective staff able to work with you. If for instance you are looking for a programmer sociability may be further down your list of key qualities. You will be looking at how industrious and creative your prospective programmer will be. On your scale ability to turn out steady great work will be more important than how well such a candidate relates with his other co-workers. That though does not say you will prefer a complete snob.

The young lady I just fired today was part of our editorial team and lacked two key factors; hardwork and respect for colleagues but she was damned brilliant. I was not directly involved when she was hired as I was away on series of talks (that doesn’t mean I do not share in the blame) and watched over the past few months as her altercations with colleagues and bad work ethics threatened staff harmony. Several talks and queries later I had no choice but to make the call. We had got an intelligent team member but her negatives were overshadowing the good she brought to the firm and that in the end was what mattered.

Focusing on the key elements that are important for the work the potential employee will do for your company will help you make priority decisions when hiring. If the position depends a lot on cooperation and harmony then you might want to consider a respectful, humorous candidate before a demeaning, rash hard worker.

Get the Rules Clear at the Beginning

When an employee joins the company he should be let into the things the company hold highly important. When you try to build a company where people enjoy their work it is important to factor in mutual respect and when that lacks attaining your corporate goals might just be a bit more difficult. Respect should be held important in the workplace.

Keep the rules simple but make it well known pointing out clearly how highly important keeping them is for the growth of both the individual and the company. If you feel a rule of no romantic relationships at work will help cement the workplace harmony make that clear to all your staff.

Rules are however sometimes meant to be broken as some would say so be sure to limit the rules to essential and very important foundations of company policy. The rest you can build into your people and the workplace by creating a culture of learning, growth and teaching.

If you get things right at the point of recruiting and bringing in your team members chances are that you may not have cause to fire anyone soon. Except business turns bad and you desperately need to break even. And even at that if you hired the right people your company will most likely not be in such danger.

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