When to Hire and Fire

When the right person walks in your door, don’t miss the rare opportunity to add exceptional talent to your team—hire him or her immediately. On the other hand, when you discover that you’ve made a mistake by hiring someone who is disrespectful, negative, self-serving or otherwise disruptive, fire that person with equal speed before they do serious damage to morale. Leaders need to be like the hare when opportunity knocks. They need to be like the tortoise in taking care to hire only people who share company values, rather than simply filling positions because they’re empty. Avoid hiring mistakes by planning ahead for the right people you’ll need to grow your business.

  • How would an employee who treats customers exceptionally well, but treats colleagues disrespectfully, fit into your culture? What would you do to fix this dilemma and why?
  • Are your values posted in appropriate places and have you explained what they mean by giving examples of the behaviors you’re looking for? How do you recognize or reward employees who demonstrate your values through their behaviors? How effective is that recognition and how do you know?
  • Aside from hiring and firing, in what other ways should you consider the benefits of being a tortoise or hare, for example: training and development, promotions, communications about change?


Kathleen is an accomplished performer, business owner and leader. Find out more about how she can help you recruit, retain, and engage your most valuable asset.