Hire Slow, Fire Fast

Hire Slow, Fire Fast

Sid Smith

EOS People Analyzer Core Values

The first time I was recruited by a Venture Capital firm to fill a role as VP of Business Development in a quasi-high technology firm, they didn't tell me that they had a reported 70% annual turnover. I had been a North American manager at a large high technology firm that had well defined and effective hiring processes with very low annual turnover.

I was shocked.

While the new firm used a solid process to recruit and hire me in my VP role nearly everyone else was hired on an almost panicked go-go basis. The faster you filled the vacancy the better… or so the story went.

There was no check on alignment around core values or fit in terms of real competency or performance behaviors because the company's leadership didn't actually know their core values!

That was over 15 years ago. EOS didn't exist, and I wasn't yet smart enough to put the Core Values lessons from Jim Collins "Built to Last" into effective action.

Core Values Build Companies

Today I help take my clients through a discovery process to discover their core values.

We use the EOS People Analyzer to evaluate each employee's alignment with the company's core values. It is not uncommon for 10-30% or more of the employees to have an unsatisfactorily level of core value alignment with the company and its leadership team upon first evaluation.

It's no surprise that those who don't share the company's core values are usually the source of many of the culture and performance issues. If the company wants to grow and be healthy, then it's time for those who don't share the company's core values to go.

Second to using core values as a way to get rid of the wrong people, we actively use core values in the hiring process. In another post I detail how you can identify a person's core values and have a dialog that gives you a good shot at knowing if there is alignment with the company's core values.

Big Lesson

The big lesson is to hire slowly enough to discern alignment of core values with a high degree of confidence. Ideally have two or more people interview and agree on the core value alignment. When it turns out that you made a hiring error or someone's values drift out of alignment and can't be brought back… fire fast.

The Core Values Alignment Win

When core values are aligned everything works better. Growth is easier, meetings better, your culture is strong and work is more often a joy for all. It's even easier to recruit and turnover is usually very low. That is the win of being strong on core value alignment.

Mailing Address (Sid)

6901 SE Oaks Park Way, Slip 27
Portland, OR 97202


Sid: 971-678-1495
Eric: 503-635-2319