Friday, February 22, 2013

Hire Slow and Fire Fast – A New Human Resource Management Strategy – Part 1 of 2

Human resource management books are full of buzz words. The latest phrase to hit the page is “Hire Slow and Fire Fast”. The point of the concept is that careful hiring practices make for better selection and fewer performance problems down the road. And, when a performance problem does occur, managers should not give the employee too many chances to improve before dismissing them.

However, let’s look at the hiring reality for most organizations. Slow hiring implies improved quality control over recruitment and selection processes. Most organizations are hiring to fill an existing vacancy. Members of the team or their supervisor are covering the extra workload and slow hiring is just not an option. In addition to several interviews, slow hiring often means putting candidates through multi-stage screening, skill assessments, personality inventories and on-the-job observation. Large organizations hiring for key senior positions may have this luxury, but small organizations and nonprofits do not.

An additional risk is that the best candidates (who have likely applied for jobs with more than one employer) may be snapped up by a “fast hire” employer while the “slow hire” employer hasn’t gotten past their second round of interviews. Particularly in highly competitive sectors where qualified people are in short supply, slow hiring may mean you find yourself scraping the bottom of the talent pool as the most desirable applicants have already begun to work elsewhere.

Generation X and Generation Y employees do not want to wait around, jump through hoops and be treated as crime suspects as they are screened, poked, tested and prodded by a prospective employer. They will assume that the entire workplace is as bureaucratic as the HR department and that all the cautiousness belies a slow moving, traditional, old-school organization. All but a few of these energetic folks will run the other way.

Finally, fast hiring does not necessarily mean sloppy human resource practices. Fast hiring may be thorough and efficient. This requires that the employer dedicate adequate resources (people, time and money) to make screening, interviewing and selection thorough for each vacancy.

 My next blog will focus on the “Fire Fast” component of the catch phrase.

 Paula J. MacLean is the author of several best-selling human resource books that provide practical advice on how to be a good supervisor and manager. Visit her website at

1 comment:

  1. I would like to be an HR manager, but I think I still need to study about the field of my desire job. Do you know any reviews about being a good HR manager?

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