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Hiring and Firing

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Mike Cohen
Hiring and Firing
on Nov 12, 2008 at 9:17:58 pm

As a manager, it is inevitable that you will one day need to let someone go, either due to layoff or a pure firing. I have done both, and it ain't easy. In most cases, the weeks spent convincing myself it was the right thing to do were worse than the actual event itself. In most cases, the employees seemed to be expecting it.

Much more fun, but still a challenge, is the hiring process. Back to back interviews should be avoided, as it is a lot of talking, and talking repeatedly about the same things gets tiring.

Finally choosing the right person, based upon a few hours of time together is a challenge as well. Sometimes you don't know until a year later if you have made a good hire.

Would be interested to hear others' experiences.

Mike Cohen

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grinner hester
Re: Hiring and Firing
on Nov 13, 2008 at 6:04:29 am

Because I hate firing so much, I hire very little.
Very seldom have I hired anyone for anything and been happy about it. I'm not a good boss. I'll sooner say good job and spend twice the time fixing it than hurt somebody's feelings.
The times I have gad to fire somebody, they knew why and expected it. By that, it's never been real hard.
As far hiring, I like real. When I applied for jobs, I did it in a tie dyed t-shirt and flip flops so there would be no surprises later. When somebody comes in that cocky today, man I like it. If they come in all stuffy with a yes sir this and a yessir that, I throw em in the Eddy Haskel catagory. They'd be too temporary to mess with.

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Steve Kownacki
Re: Hiring and Firing
on Nov 13, 2008 at 1:38:15 pm

I tended to do what Grinner said, pay... then fix it yourself. I've trained myself to be a better boss now. More to say later, gotta get a quote done - but Grin, dig that YouTube video!


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Nick Griffin
Re: Hiring and Firing
on Nov 13, 2008 at 9:43:51 pm

Since I'm an old fart who has been doing this nonsense since 1974, I've hired and fired a number of people. And yes, I'm like Grinner and tend to avoid confrontation. That's not a good thing in a boss.

I believe (but don't always remember to practice) that a good boss is a coach, pointing out problems from the same side of the desk, not across it, and asking the employee to help identify solutions.

The easiest firing I've ever had was that of a part time Admin. with accounting responsibility who I found to be embezzling. Not to say I didn't have a knot in my stomach leading up to that confrontation, but at least I had a sense of being righteously outraged. After the fact I was quite proud to determine that I had discovered the embezzlement with only $1,900 gone. Later I learned that at one of her other part time accounting jobs a high five-figure amount was taken. She spent some time in jail for that one.

The toughest firing was that of a minority partner who, over a painful couple of years, we finally realized was simply incompetent as the business person he purported to be. We discovered that anything he had a question about, or perhaps didn't want to deal with, was just stuck in the back of a desk drawer. (Oh, THAT explains why certain vendors are screaming at me about invoices I didn't even know existed.)

That firing was rough because the guy started getting highly emotional, citing the security of his family and begging to keep his job. Needless to say there was a tall, stiff Jack Daniels therapy session waiting for me at the end of that day.

One thing I've seen in companies I consider to be really great is that the hiring process involves multiple steps -- for the really hot companies, the more the better. For example, a minimum of three interviews before hiring a secretary; for higher level positions at least one interview with every member of senior management and multiple meetings with the CEO. The thing impressed me the most was that once hired everyone there knew that everyone else had been selected with equal care. They knew that they had been chosen to be part of a team of winners.

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