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Talent Magnet Series: Attract! Hire! Retain! – Hire Slow & Fire Fast

Posted by Kevin Nolan on April 4, 2024

Let’s get going on hiring! Attracting customers and attracting employees have always been my two main objectives—not necessarily in that order.

Like any process in your company, you want to write a cookbook for the hiring process—a recipe you can follow repeatedly with good results.

Write Your Cookbook

Whatever happens, it is essential to write out the hiring process from start to finish—from the ad that goes into Indeed, Craigslist, or whatever job board you use to the final step of the onboarding process. Here’s an example of steps included in our ‘cookbook’ at Nolan Painting:

  • Application and interview process with standardized questions. 
  • References! Never skip the reference step; we’ve learned this the hard way. Follow up on all references, then do criminal and motor vehicle background checks.
  • Make a written offer. If they accept, go to step 4.
  • Orientation: explain your Vision, Mission, Values, Policies, and Opportunities for new employees.
  • Behavioral profile. You remember the Green Book—we conduct a behavioral profile during the first two weeks if the new employee seems to be working out, great! If not, we fire fast!

Firing fast means deciding quickly whether the employee is a good fit. That can usually be determined in the first few days or, at the maximum, up to two weeks. If they’re not a good fit, our leaders discern this quickly, and then the “fire fast” kicks in. 

No one wants to work in a business with misfits to the job. It is in everyone’s best interest to end this relationship quickly—dragging it on just makes it worse. We give feedback, more feedback, and then terminate. We don’t use that language—we say, “Sorry, Joe, based on our observations over the past two weeks, we have decided you are not a good fit for this type of work. We are going to let you go. Good luck, and thanks for giving it a shot.”

Friendly, and it does the job.

If you don’t already have your hiring cookbook written down, take that step this week. Build muscle.

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