Oh, hiring. It’s brutal out there. Candidates are scarce and it often feels like you have to scour the earth to find the right fit. So when you’ve done all of the right things including welcoming your new hire on board – Yes! Victory is sweet! But what happens when you fast forward a few months and, gasp, they are a disaster?!
Indiegogo founder and CEO Danae Ringelmann says once you realize you’ve hired the wrong person,don’t drag it out. It’s true. A cohesive and well-oiled team will feel the effects of a mis-hire almost immediately and mis-matches can be a strain on productivity. Not to mention the damage that can be done to the culture you are trying to build.
VC Mark Suster echoes that sentiment with his mantra of “hire fast, fire fast.” When you make a mistake, you need to own up to it and fix it ASAP. Under performers or bad hires can make or break a startup.
So how do you go about it? Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, you may rather hide under your bed and never come out instead of having that uncomfortable conversation. But Ringelmann puts a nice twist on the job to be done: Don’t put the emphasis on “you’re a bad person, and we’re a great company” but rather on “we want you to succeed, and we want to succeed.” Emphasize the goal of helping them succeed elsewhere and even commit to doing so. Suster furthers that approach by providing the individual with suggestions on how they might think differently about the situation at the next company.
Regardless of how difficult and uncomfortable this can be, own the decision to move forward and do so swiftly. Rip that band-aid off for the sake of everyone involved. But as you approach it, be kind. Respect the fact that you too played a part in the situation that got you here.