Hire slow, fire fast and pay better!

About a month ago I was lucky enough to have Óscar Torres  as a professor in several classes of the ESADE B2B program and he mentioned a very short expression but from which we can extract many conclusions and that I would like to share: “Hire slow, fire fast and pay well”.

How many companies only hire if they have to cover the position of someone who leaves?

Many! Not to say the vast majority!

Don’t you think that it’s a big mistake and that in the long term it catches up with them?

I am not an expert in human resources but I do know the technological sector in Barcelona very well, especially at corporate level, and I can affirm with certainty that the companies that identify and recruit the best talent are those that prosper best and are those that end up becoming reference points where everyone wants to go. In fact, we have very trustworthy clients who tell us: “If you find a TOP professional that fits our culture, let us know as soon as possible, regardless of whether we have an open vacancy.”

If we compare to the world of football, what you can’t do is start probing the market when you learn that your star striker has reached an agreement with another club.


  • because you will pay a higher price
  • because you will have little time to make a choice and hurrying is not good
  • because you will transmit a bad image both externally and internally due to lack of communication and foresight

My recommendation is that you identify the key positions and their functions within the organization chart and interview candidates more or less constantly. If it’s time to sign that forward, you’ll know what doors to knock on and even what offer to make.

The companies that make the difference make a big effort searching for candidates and their qualifications; they do it constantly and in the long term, but little by little they are positioning the brand / culture of the company and seducing the best. However, a large part of organizations prospect candidates in a hurry due to the urgency of finding the profile and what they end up doing is discrediting the company’s image and offering a high salary as a trigger for them to accept.

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Undoubtedly, to have the best team, it is convenient to be proactive and not reactive, but we must not forget that chronic problems are due to bad processes and not to bad people.

Why do many companies lengthen / postpone the dismissal of a professional that they already know does not fit?

A high work rate or simply not being a priority are some of the reasons why many managers wait too long to make a dismissal. When a bad thing weighs more than the good things and when the worker causes more problems than they solve or for example has an attitude problem, you have to dismiss him / her as soon as possible.

It may sound radical, but not doing it fast can have many consequences:

  • Deceleration of the department and even the development of the company
  • Work and “extra” time for others
  • Bad feelings, you already know the saying “one rotten apple spoils the barrel”
  • Stress, both for the worker and the team
  • Transmission of the message within the company that mediocrity or incapacity is acceptable, which can generate demotivation and a lack of credibility in the project
  • Demonstration of a lack of authority in the company
  • Daily cost of having a person who does not generate value

In any case, we can’t ignore that on many occasions the company dismisses someone for an error of their own that has nothing to do with the professional:

  • Bad execution of the selection process due to the urgency of the hiring
  • Ignorance of the HR department in such specific profiles
  • Hiring for “friendship” or “commitment”
  • ill-defined “Job description”
  • etc etc

And what about paying well?

Money does not buy happiness but it is the first aspect to take into account for a change of job.

Although the parameter of maximum satisfaction with the company is not the salary and culture and values ​​are, we must not forget its importance, especially when it comes to attracting really good people within the IT sector so that they don’t lose motivation or productivity.

Each week they receive one or several proposals for a job change, so a good salary and a differential benefits package will help to avoid having a high turnover. In any case, we must always strengthen and invest in the company culture and give the possibility of growth to all those who earn it.

This reminds me of a relationship as a couple: there is nothing worse than feeling that one gives much more than the other! If this happens, surely the relationship will end badly.

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From my point of view, it is key that the exchange between the  professional and company is equitable, what is usually called a “win-win”; if the person contributes more than what they receive, they will end up leaving, and if the company pays more than the value contributed by the worker, they will end up dismissing or relocating them.

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