The phrase “slow to hire, fast to fire” has been repeated over and over by business gurus since the Great Depression. What exactly does it mean, and what does it all entail in a business?

The basic idea of “slow to hire, fast to fire” is found in the value of employees. According to, “the skill of the employees accounts for 85% of the business’s value.”

In that setting, you cannot afford to hire candidates who harm the business. But, the overarching desire to fill a position quickly often beats out waiting for a quality hire. This desire is something that you want to avoid. Here are some things to consider when thinking about waiting for the right hire, or firing the wrong hire as quickly as possible.

Seems Kind of Unfair

Think about it, a new upcoming marketing talent needs a job, but they are forced to wait as your business thinks through every single scenario and mulls over multiple candidates. Unemployment in the country is at 4%, and you are hurting prospective workers by not hiring quickly.

While all of that is true, it’s not unfair at all to wait. The company is your business, and there is a sizable investment at stake. If those talents are great at what they do, they might be able to get a job quickly from a different business. Top talent goes quickly.

Find the Natural fit for the Team.

Some people click together. It is super important to maintain the balance of the team. Teams rely on trust and everyone pulling their weight. Hiring too quickly can bring someone in who just does not fit the team at all.

Personalities can be hard to balance. It is smart as a team-leader to know the characters that you are dealing with and seeking to juggle them each day. You should check to see if the person you are hiring will naturally mold into the team. These are the best hires. It almost seems as though they have been there for years. They seem to fit right into the puzzle.

Culture is Important

Culture is also contagious. It is something you build every day starting with the leader. Respect, dedication, enthusiasm and hard work are things that build on top of each other every day. Negative culture spreads through a team like a wildfire in California. If you allow bad habits by one of your employees to go unaddressed the rest of your team will begin to develop those habits as well.

These habits are why it is super essential to fire someone who cannot do the job. Someone might be a bad fit for the company. You should not keep ruining the productivity and growth of the rest of the team because you are forcing someone to fit into the puzzle. It is better for your business and better for that employee’s career that you fire them quickly and move on.

Problems Get Worse

Problems that you see every day need to be addressed. If they are not corrected in a quick and timely fashion, then the employee needs to be fired. It is not a personal thing. It is a business thing.

Save your team the trouble. These mistakes that are being made will worsen. If it is a personality problem, it will only escalate. You run the risk of dividing your work team and tearing out the culture that you have built. Make the business decision, not a personal choice.

Strategies for Hiring Slow and Firing Fast

The biggest thing we recommend is that you invite the prospective candidate to spend the day working with you. If you work together, you might find that they are an essential addition for the team. That makes the hiring process pretty easy. You could also see that they clash pretty hard with someone in the organization, or maybe that they fail to take care of little things. You can learn a great deal about someone in one day of work.

When you are firing, do it respectfully and help the person understand that the fit is not what it should be. Handling the situation like this works in their advantage too. They could be more successful in another company. Help them to see that this is better for their career as well as the business.

One company mentioned that they help fired employees find other jobs. This idea is exceptionally professional and showcases a strong culture of employees first.

Always remember that the business comes first. Do whatever it takes to cut out the negative parts of your team. Build a positive culture and take your time on the hiring process. Teamwork is the most important asset your business has! So be sure to prioritize it and use it to your advantage.