Many SMEs often hire too quickly just to fill up job vacancies “urgently” and drag their feet when it is time to remove “bad apple” employees because “It’s just too difficult to fire people.” Such an approach usually results in high manpower costs and can negative impact your company’s culture. Instead, consider the ‘Hire Slow, Fire Fast’ approach.

Hire Slow

Hiring slow is about recruiting only candidate who could fit into the company’s culture and is competent in carrying out the job.

Establish structured interviews to evaluate job candidates with predetermined questions that focus on one’s knowledge, skills, and competencies.  Ask these questions across all candidates competing for the same job. This allows for a fair, systematic, and intentional comparison that will yield your best fit candidate(s).

Fire Fast 

Firing fast is about weeding out the black sheep who are wreaking havoc to your company’s culture and performance.

Create and consistently communicate a list of absolutely unacceptable behaviours and attitudes, like breaches in professional integrity or gossipy sabotage that may cause irreparable harm to the company and immediately terminate any employee who crosses the line.

In the case of consistently poor performance, reassign them to another role and monitor their performance first. If there are still no improvements, consider letting them go to find jobs where they can better flourish.


The above excerpt is our compilation of ideas for business leaders in the areas of people management, leadership, and workplace happiness. Read on more on this philosophy in Harvard’s Business Review.  

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