Why do people say “Hire Slow, Fire Fast”?

The latest buzz words about employment practices are “Hire Slow, Fire Fast.” This is the modern day equivalent of the proverb, “Measure twice, cut once.” Essentially, this is a pretty good rule of thumb for any business. Even Internet start-ups would do well to think about this axiom. Although competition is fierce, it pays to do your homework and vet prospective employees. Just as a carpenter saves time, money, and lumber by taking a little bit of extra time before cutting the wood, an employer will save time, money, and headaches down the road by taking a little extra time in the hiring process.

business (11)Why? If you take just a little bit more time to hire someone, you are far more likely to hire the right person for the job; someone who not only has the qualifications needed for the position, but someone who is compatible with you and the rest of your employees. Thorough vetting is an employer’s way of measuring twice.  You also do not want to add to your payroll until you absolutely have to.

While it is true that using the hiring slow principle may not net you the ideal employee, the odds are still in your favor of hiring a solid, long-term employee who will fit well into your organization. Another advantage of taking some extra time in the hiring process is that in the long run, you will save time. Hiring someone who is the wrong fit, or whose qualifications aren’t quite up to snuff, will cost you time and money. You’ll have to go through the added paperwork (and angst) of firing the new hire and repeat the entire hiring process in order to find a replacement.

The other part of the equation, firing fast, is equally important. As brutal as it may sound, it is to everyone’s advantage to dismiss an employee quickly if his or her performance is subpar. An employee’s poor work performance affects your bottom line and the morale of your other workers. Unfortunately, even though it is strongly advisable to fire fast, you do have to consider any and all complications that may arise in firing someone. That’s why the hiring slow rule is so important; it greatly reduces the odds that you will have to fire the person for any reason.