Monday, December 1, 2014

“Is it Ethical to Hire Slow, Fire Fast?” - Professor M.S.Rao

"In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you." — Warren Buffet, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

When I share my knowledge on HR topics I share two slogans ‘hire slow, fire fast’ and ‘hire for attitude, train for skills’. The audience often asks me the question why there is a need to hire employees slow and fire them fast.

The HR recruiters invest a lot of time to recruit the right candidates to accomplish their organizational goals and objectives. They conduct a series of tests and interviews to recruit the right talent with a mindset, tool set and skill set. They cannot afford to spend their money on wrong candidates as they will become liability and also adversely impact the healthy organizational culture. Even if some candidates lack the right skill set and tool set, the HR recruiters emphasize more on mindset so that they can be trained and groomed easily as per their organizational requirements. Here the challenge is that however strong the recruitment process might be, there is a likelihood of rotten apples entering into the basket. If they find that the apples are rotten, they quickly fire the candidates to avert damage to their organizations. That is the reason the HR hires the employees slow and fires them fast if they find employees with a wrong attitude subsequently.  

Most established companies are slow to hire the employees and fast to fire them while most start-up companies are fast to hire the employees and slow to fire them.  Since the start-up companies are eager to expand and grow, they often hire fast. Hence, it is advisable to exercise restraint while recruiting the right talent and terminating the services of the wrong talent.

Companies conduct a series of tests to recruit the right talent but no recruiting system is accurate and foolproof as mistakes do occur. But the way out of it must be smooth, quick and humane to set a right precedent for other employees.  A rotten employee is always a virus that can spread quickly and demoralize other employees. At the same time, the HR recruiters must be cautious while firing the under performers and the employees with a rotten attitude. Ensure that the right employees are not fired due to organizational politics.  Although a hundred wrong employees are hired no right employee be fired to ensure ethics and etiquette. Additionally, there is a war for talent globally. It is hard to get the right talent currently. Hence, the HR recruiters must be cautious and ethical in hiring and firing their employees.

To conclude, hiring employees is one of the most important and challenging decisions that companies make, but all efforts must be made to recruit the right talent with a right attitude to ensure culture fit to achieve organizational excellence and effectiveness.

“Today, many companies are reporting that their number one constraint on growth is the inability to hire workers with the necessary skills.” - Bill Clinton

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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL: http://www.amazon.com/21-Success-Sutras-Leaders-ebook/dp/B00AK98ELI

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