My human resource friends have long used
the phrase: hire slow, fire fast. In today’s business climate I tend to disagree
with this approach. My post this week is based solely on opinion and personal
When it comes to sales people, the
real-deal ‘A’ level sales people, if I take my time and move slowly through the
hiring process, I’m likely going to miss out on the best talent. Sales people,
the ‘A’ level sales people, are always in demand. Most can call their shots,
whether they are not actively seeking a new opportunity, or are hot on the job
market, they are in demand. You know them when you meet them. They exude
confidence and can back up the career story with proof. You want to hire them
after the first interview. And, you know you’d much rather have them on your
team than on the opposing team.
Hiring fast does not mean you’re jumping
the gun. It doesn’t mean you “might be missing out” on someone else. It means
you’re using your experience as a sales manager to make a judgement call about
a candidate. You also do not need to short cut your interview process, but it
does mean you may need to consolidate the calendar into a tighter window.
When you come across a candidate you feel strongly about, being expeditious in the interview process may also play
favor in your hiring negotiations. Candidates don’t want to linger and wait. Even
if they are safely employed elsewhere, your excitement about their candidacy
may win them over, and they will want to reward you with a yes to your offer.
As such, being fast on the firing
trigger must remain a key component to your management processes, as well.
Nothing can hurt an organization more than allowing a poorly performing sales
person stay too long. If their behavior becomes toxic, they must go. If you’ve
tried to no avail to change their ways, they must go. Leaving someone in place
too long can cause more damage because it tells others you are more willing to
allow such behavior or poor performance rather than your willingness to address it for the betterment of all.
Hire fast and fire faster. In the end
you will have the ‘A’ level team you’ve always wanted.