Hire Slow, Fire Fast or Hire Smart, Fire less

Hire Slow, Fire Fast or Hire Smart, Fire less

I am copying the title of Jim Calloway’s article on hiring within law firms. It resonated with me as I have heard all week from clients who have been hearing ‘hire slow, fire fast’. This saying has never rested well with me as having recruited over the past 20 years, I would say 80% of the roles I recruited I always needed urgently. Not because of bad planning, but because of opportunities we found. Being in the IT side of many industries, change and hiring are the constant – its just what change and what skills.

With a Price Waterhouse Coopers study showing that a bad hire can cost in the region of R250,000. This cost was determined due to: the time it takes to (especially if you doing it slowly), time to induct, training and then IR costs to dismiss. So how do we as business owners and HR leaders hire smart? I investigated Jim Calloway’s article, did some additional and took what I have found works best to ensure ‘hire smart, fire less’.

1.    It is about where you start

Jim Calloway talks about this and so do I in my events – its all about where you start. When a job is required we need to first create a job description on what the role looks like and what the person needs to have to do the job properly. If you start the process by copying and paste from Google – you will get what that company you just copied from was looking for. Start the process by writing clearly what you need this person to do and what skills they need to have. ‘Its all about how you start’.

2.    It is where you look

Where are you searching for this candidate? On a free website, in your own network, using an agency, or on a paid website? You would think a free website is not a good spot but history shows me that I have found some of my best employees from free websites. Recruiting has three sources of data which is often overlooked. First advertising – put the job description out on a few job boards. Second use your own database or network, or use an agency (they have extensive databases) or a job portal like www.Linkedin.com. Third go ‘head hunting’ as it used to be called, looking for someone specific – go find them. Do not just use one medium you miss out on all the others and some hidden gems.

3.    Interview process

We see this time and time again! A client creates an intimidating interview where some great candidates fall apart. But when they get a great candidate who can handle an intimidating interview, they get exactly what they were looking for a ‘strong’ candidate. Strong in personality and opinion and when they start there is often a ‘butt of heads’. You want to see what the person you are interviewing, is really like! Make them comfortable and see who they really are then determine if they match your culture. If anything, we have learnt in Covid its see the human.

4.    Background checks background checks background checks

Research and my experience show that background checks are critical. You can read a recent blog of mine on horrors on hiring and receiving background checks late (https://jobcrystal.co.za/blog/my-horror-story-on-background-checks-before-hiring/). But think about it – if you were looking for a PA and you spoke to someone you knew very well and respected their work ethic. And they recommended a great PA – chances are you would most probably hire her/him after meeting with them. Background checks I almost believe could decide if you hire someone or not and should possibly be done upfront.

5.    Skills Testing Is The Key To Good Hiring

Taken from Jim Calloway, but testing is critical. You need to see what skills are lacking, which ones need work and which ones he or she excel in. Hiring someone and fining out they do not have advanced excel skills will add to your recruitment cost (either due to IR or training costs). Rather know exactly what who you are hiring and with which skills and determine what you can live with or live without.

In conclusion you can hire fast you just need to do it smart!

*Sasha Knott started her career as a programmer and swiftly moved up the career ladder in the corporate world. Having been bitten by the start-up bug, she has started several new businesses and recently sold her business to a listed corporation after only 18 months. A thought leader and speaker on topics such as starting businesses, hiring the right employees and finding the right job. Sasha is currently the MD of Job Crystal, a recruitment company that focuses on SME’s and hiring online and offline.