Firing hard, but not firing harder

by Ben Abbott23 Nov 2011

The Selector Group’s Ian Jordan is no stranger to the “challenging” task of having to let staff go, although if it does happen again, the business may be more prepared for it.

“It’s happened a few times in our journey over three years, and there is no reason it couldn’t happen again, it’s just that now our radar is finer tuned to pick it up sooner,” he said.

By ‘it’, Jordan is referring to hiring someone who ends up not being a good cultural fit within the business, to the detriment of both the business itself, and the staff member themselves. Dealing decisively with the situation can be hard on all concerned.

“In some ways, it’s quite easy to say the person is just not fitting in with the business ideals, and where we want it to go, but on the other side of the coin, they might be quite competent or a nice person, so from an emotional point of view it is difficult for all parties concerned,” he said.

“However, in the longer term, both you and them are better off,” he said.

Jordan said before letting individuals go, The Selector Group went through a process of close monitoring of team ceilings, how the team behaved when the person in question was around, as well as individual counselling, by communicating closely about any issues with the job.

Jordan said the experience has informed a more robust recruitment approach in future.

“Each time, there is a bit of a lesson learned, so your questioning techniques are more refined,” he explained. “You actually end up hiring a little bit slower; there is no rush to bring someone on, because in the past when we’ve come across someone with a good skills set, we may have said bring them on, without considering the deeper issues,” he said.

Related stories:

'Letting go' the way to boost business