Firing the New Hire

I don’t know about you but not every salesperson I’ve hired turned out to be a winner. If they were, I’d probably be spending my days at the racetrack getting rich.

If by some unfortunate stroke of bad luck, you happen to hire a salesperson who doesn’t work out and you have to fire the person, don’t take the situation personally. Having to fire someone who, for whatever reason, didn’t work out, isn’t a crime, just a poor judgement call. Don’t despair, you can regain or maintain your credibility by making the proper decision and correct the situation.

Whatever you do, don’t blame the person who persuaded you that he was right for the job. When talking to the person, be candid and honest. Take responsibility for what went wrong. Then provide fair financial compensation and get the person out the door with his self-esteem and confidence intact. It’s the least that you owe the person.

Making a bad hire is a mistake. Failing to fire is often a bigger mistake.

Fear of Firing

Nobody but a sadist gets any pleasure out of firing someone.

Apart from the extreme discomfort, one of the main reasons’ managers don’t fire someone, particularly someone they personally hired, is the fear of looking stupid. They’re supposed to know what they’re doing and to have to fire someone implies that they either don’t know what they’re doing, they didn’t do a good job, or they made a hiring mistake.

You wouldn’t be the first manager to make a hiring mistake and you won’t be the last. Hoping your mistake will go away or correct itself is not a good strategy. Do the right thing, correct the mistake, and move past your fear. Not to do so is an even bigger mistake.

The experience we gain from the mistakes we make causes us to make fewer mistakes. It’s a painful, but necessary, journey.