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Dear Kristy: Do You Believe in “Hire Slow, Fire Fast”?

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Dear Kristy: Do You Believe in “Hire Slow, Fire Fast”?

This is a really great question! I’m going to specifically focus on the first half of this phrase in this blog – the idea of hiring slow. Do I believe in hiring slow? Yes, but you must move through your interview/ hiring process efficiently.

Let me start by saying, however, that I do understand the reasoning behind the idea of hiring slow. Business owners and hiring managers sometimes feel if they fly through the hiring process, they might miss something and make a hiring mistake. Hiring mistakes can cost companies a lot of money, so it’s understandable to want to be cautious. However, I encourage being smarter about the process, while keeping it moving at a good pace.

Here are my top three reasons for hiring efficiently:


  • It’s a candidate’s market.


With the unemployment rate hovering right about 4 percent, you really can’t afford to be inefficient in your process. The best candidates out there today don’t last long! As I mentioned in a previous blog, this is truly a candidate’s market – just like the housing market is currently a seller’s market. They are getting what they want!

I cannot tell you how many candidates our recruiters have worked with who are fielding offers from multiple companies at the same time. We have found that clients who are not efficient in their hiring process, taking weeks to conduct interviews or weeks in between interviews and formal job offers, are losing out on great candidates and finding themselves starting the process all over again.


  • Hiring quickly IS possible.


By hiring quickly, I mean to keep your candidates engaged, keep the ball rolling.  In a 2015 Forbes article, Liz Ryan, a former senior vice president for a Fortune 500 company, says candidates will bail if the process is too slow and cumbersome; other opportunities await.

“If your ‘slow hiring’ process ticks people off, they won’t wait around for you to mull over your decision. They’ll take another path, and that’s what they should do!” Ryan says.

Do you have a hiring process in place? Who do the candidates meet with for the first interview? What about the second interview? Do you have a compensation package already in mind? Is there paperwork candidates need to complete for you? Do you have them complete any assessments? Know all of this up front! This is also an area where working with a recruiter can really help. Once we pass along pre-interviewed candidates to you, this is what we ask the process to look like:

  • Candidates accepted or rejected within 24 hours of receiving them.
  • Interviews set up with candidates of interest within one week.
  • DISC assessments and reference checks completed between first and second interviews.
  • Second interview completed within one week of the first interview.
  • Job offer presented within several days of final interview.

By following that simple process, qualified candidates can make it through the interview process and have an offer in hand within just a few weeks and will likely feel well-engaged in the entire process. The main point I am trying to get across is, don’t feel that you can meet with a candidate one week and they will wait three more weeks to even hear from you again before moving on to another opportunity. Also, by having an efficient and well thought out interview process you have less risk of succumbing to the warm body syndrome.


  • Inefficient hiring processes punish your current team.


hire slow, fire fast

If you’re hiring, there’s likely a gap in one of your teams, right? An article by Fast Company says, “An empty seat is a painful distraction, requiring a manager to do three jobs: their own work; handling or delegation of the work left by the empty seat; and finding and hiring the new employee. Now they’re working while distracted, and that’s like driving while distracted; it’s detrimental to business.”

Again, hiring the right person is crucial. If you have the right process in place and the right interview questions, you’ll be able to quickly weed out good candidates from the bad. Stay objective. Look at the pros and cons. If someone is lacking in skill, are they a good match in character to your company? If so, there’s a good chance you could train them for the position over the same amount of time it would take you to start the entire hiring process over again to bring in someone who already knows the job.


Do you have a hiring-related question for Kristy? Shoot her an email at!