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Most people are familiar with the phrase, “hire slow and fire fast.” This certainly isn’t a phrase coined by me, but it gets to the heart of two very important business imperatives:
- When hiring, take your time to make sure you hire the right person. If you hire the right person, the overall management will be easier and they’ll be more efficient and impactful.
- When you realize a person is no longer a good fit for your company, let them go as soon as practical. Keeping a person too long ends up causing more damage.
I’m not a complete believer in the “fire fast” philosophy on its face. It definitely gives the impression that if someone isn’t cutting it at any point in time, you need to let them go. That’s a bit harsh for me. I do believe people can have bad days, bad weeks and even bad months. I generally have a bit of compassion and can coach people towards improvements along with a process of consistent feedback and milestones to hit. I believe in the philosophy, “fire kind of fast.”
As it relates to hiring slowly, we created a process at Assurance that forces us to take distinctive steps that form a slower yet effective hiring system. We decided there are 11 Best & Brightest characteristics of people who work at Assurance. These characteristics are: Accountable, ambitious, caring, ethical, flexible, participative, positive, proactive, responsive, smart and understanding. For each position at Assurance, we identified the four to six characteristics we believe best reflect the position for which we’re hiring. To give you an idea, there are six characteristics we focus on for our salespeople: Ambitious, pro-active, understanding, flexible, caring and smart.
In the hiring process, there are three interviews with each addressing two of the characteristics. We have standardized questions for each of the characteristics in order to have interview consistency. In addition to the three in-person interviews, there’s generally an initial meeting or telephone screening, personality profile and reference checks. This process allows us to assure we’re hiring people who fit our culture.
It’s essential to create a repeatable process for your organization to hire the best people possible. Great people make it much easier – and truly possible – to have a successful company.
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