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Hire Slowly, Fire Fast

By: Dave Berkus


New hires can shore up the weak areas of a business in ways existing employees cannot, if hiring is done to fill true needs. Some employees lose their drive, or remain behind as the company grows, failing to gain the experience or knowledge needed to manage expanded processes or numbers of subordinates. Sometimes, there is just too much work for one person, and a second is needed to continue growth. And of course sometimes, a person leaves the company, creating a need to fill a hole.

There is a rule few follow. Slow down and take more care in the hiring process. Vet the candidates well, even though you think that you do not have time enough to do so. Hiring is one of your most important duties, a way to increase the quality and productivity of your company’s staff. Every hiring opportunity is a window to improve the company. Hire slowly, with the weight of that opportunity clearly in mind.
On the other hand, we are all guilty of hanging on to marginal employees for too long. It is humane; it is easier to do nothing. It is less of a drag on your time to let marginal employees continue to plug along in their job. We have all done this. And yet, we have all looked back after a painful separation of a marginal employee, and thought that we should have made the move to replace the person much earlier. We agree that the person would have benefited with a better fit, and the company would have surely performed better having hired the replacement earlier.
It is human nature to hire as quickly as possible, to reduce the time taken from a busy day for interviews and reference checking. And it is human nature to hang on to marginal employees. Both are opposite the best practices of good management.
Try to force yourself to slow down in the hiring process, and speed decisions you know will someday have to be made about marginal employees.
This article was originally published by Berkonomics
Published: February 16, 2015

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Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus is a noted speaker, author and early stage private equity investor. He is acknowledged as one of the most active angel investors in the country, having made and actively participated in over 87 technology investments during the past decade. He currently manages two angel VC funds (Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC and Kodiak Ventures, L.P.) Dave is past Chairman of the Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel networks in the United States. Dave is author of “Basic Berkonomics,” “Berkonomics,” “Advanced Berkonomics,” “Extending the Runway,” and the Small Business Success Collection. Find out more at Berkus.com or contact Dave at dberkus@berkus.com

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