There’s only one failure – the failure to participate

Rob Carter

Rob Carter

Business coach Rob Carter discusses the concept of hiring slow and firing fast.

In my mind, there’s only one failure, and that’s the failure to participate.

I have always been comfortable sharing my failures even if it does hurt a little every now and again!

So I thought I would share with you an ongoing experience I have had this year which has not only been challenging but also a stark reminder of a principal that I coach my clients, which is: “Hire slow and Fire fast”

Search for a marketing manager

At the back end of 2012, I started the process of looking for a Marketing Manager.

As you might expect we followed the comprehensive and enlightening ActionCOACH hiring process in the same way we would expect our clients to do.

This culminated in a group interview in December with three final candidates and an appointment was made and our new employee started in January.

The long and the short of it was that this relationship didn’t work out as the individual really struggled to work towards a set of key performance indicators and before too long felt that working for someone else was a better option.

So what did I do wrong?

It’s simple really. You can have all the great processes and systems in the world but if you don’t follow them closely enough and listen to your own gut feeling at the same time then they won’t work for you.

I was really keen to get the vacancy filled and kept asking questions and listening to answers in a way that got the result I was looking for, rather than being patient and objective all the way through the process.

I learnt the following FIVE things:

1. Hire slow and fire fast – it’s the fairest thing to do for all parties concerned.
2. Have a system and process and use it. It provides structure and objectivity in a world that wants to gravitate towards subjectivity.
3. There are plenty of ways to ‘skin the cat’ – so look at other options whilst you are finding your ideal solution, like using freelancers or sub-contractors.
4. Don’t hire people just because you like them and they are like you.
5. Listen to and act on your gut feeling as it’s often right.

Gut feeling

I DON’T subscribe to the view that ‘gut’ stands for Give Up Thinking as your gut feel comes from your sub-conscious mind working through all your experiences of the past, all the experience you have gained and coming up with a feeling or response that best fits the current situation.

Our mind is our most powerful asset so let’s listen to it. The tough bit is doing something about it and that may mean saying no or delaying something which can be really frustrating.

I hope that my learning points will make your life easier and your business more profitable.

Incidentally, the search is still on.

And last week I followed my own advice by saying no to a few candidates who I liked but ultimately thought wouldn’t make the grade in the long term.

If you think you know someone who would be interested then give me a shout and I’d be happy to talk through the job profile.