Slow to Hire, Fast to Fire

I wish more companies heeded this advice (and I wish I had heeded it more in the past too) from a CEO cited in the Financial Times today:

“I used to hire people that I knew in my gut weren’t right … because I was desperate to fill a position. We don’t do that any more, and we have some positions open for months and months. It costs a lot of money to hire someone and you waste a lot of time if it goes wrong. Then you have to fire people, and that’s not fun. So don’t rush it, wait until you find someone who really works.”

Yes, you can be too slow at hiring too — and I’ve known companies that turned down four great candidates on the way, they think, to a mythical perfect candidate, burning a year or more in the process — but if you have to skew one way it’s toward slow(er) hiring and fast(er) firing.


  1. It’s really a problem. Some fellow students applicated at some enterprises after graduating. It lasted months until they finally knew wether they were employed or not.
    So it seems to be very unfair if employers expect ultimate flexibility from their employees (including fast firing) but don’t offer any of that. If you can be fired within days but can’t expect to be hired within the next weeks (even if you are highly qualified and willingly to work a lot), that is unfair.