July 15, 2018

Why ‘Hire Fast, Fire Fast’ is a Startup Mantra

Why 'Hire Fast, Fire Fast' is a Startup Mantra

The nature of startups, primarily the pressure for fast growth and high revenue production, encourages a variety of hiring practices. One of the more well-known strategies is to hire fast— with the option of firing just as fast. It takes, on average, 31 days to fill a job vacancy, according to DHI Hiring Indicators Reports. With the high expectations of investors, boards, and founders, startups don’t have the luxury of pushing that average up to 32 days. Here is why Why ‘Hire Fast, Fire Fast’ is a Startup Mantra.

Startups hire fast for a variety of reasons

  • Hiring fast reduces the cost spent researching, vetting, and interviewing candidates.
  • Fast hiring limits the amount of time critical roles spend unfilled—costing businesses revenue and money. Additional consequences of a vacant position can involve pushing back product rollouts, feature releases, and other important endeavors.
  • Great candidates have other opportunities. Taking too much time to hire people certainly leaves room for the best candidates to accept other offers. Within the competitive world of startups, there is rarely a shortage of job offers for talented, innovative candidates.
  • The idea of hiring fast parallels the expectation of rapid decision-making that is typical of startup culture.

One thing to note…while hiring fast works for the majority of startups, the resulting impact on company culture must be addressed. To effectively hire quickly, startups must avoid breeding a culture of punishment toward their recruiting teams. Recruiting teams need the ability to openly admit mistakes without severe repercussions. Fear of filling a position with the wrong fit can cause recruiters to be gun-shy about future decision-making, thus delaying the hiring process even further. So now we understand the thinking behind hiring fast. Startups do not have the luxury of hiring slow—competition is fierce, customers are demanding, and investors have high expectations. On the other hand, hiring is always a challenge, whether you’re a startup or not. And, at some point in time, every company will make a bad hire—because the candidate didn’t fit the role, fulfill expectations, or suit the culture. Great leaders have the ability to recognize a hiring mistake and make the necessary adjustments.

So, why do startups fire fast

  • More often than not, employees are hired based on a series of situational questions, a resume, and “gut feeling.” That cocktail of criteria, although very common, can lead to a poorly-vetted hire. To avoid further resource drain, startups make the choice to fire fast.
  • It doesn’t serve an employee or a company to keep a person in a role that doesn’t make sense or isn’t providing a clear benefit.
  • Operating on a tight budget and deadlines, as many startups do, leaves no room for an inefficient allocation of resources. Firing an employee frees up budget and opens space in the org chart.
  • Startups fire fast to protect company culture. Even a single employee that opposes cultural norms will be demotivating, unhappy, and contribute to a toxic work environment.
  • Accepting a bad decision is wrong for everyone. A bad hire can decrease morale, consume precious resources, and push attainment further away from the end goal.

The expectation of rapid growth, combined with a desire for instant success, can poorly guide hiring and create fearful recruiters. The mantra to hire fast—giving vetted candidates a good opportunity—and fire fast—ridding organizations of dead weight—keeps startups in a position to succeed. Does the Why ‘Hire Fast, Fire Fast’ is a Startup Mantra make sense? You can get started here!