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By LegalEdge News

Hiring and Firing: Top Tips


Our own Nick Pritchett recently joined an expert panel, hosted by Juggle, to discuss hiring and firing staff in fast growth businesses.

Nick’s fellow panel members on the webinar recounted how they had approached recruiting staff (and letting them go) and what they had learned along the way. Often it was the most difficult situations, where things had not worked out, that provided the best lessons for the future.

We know that managing the employee life-cycle can be challenging, particularly when you’re doing it for the first time so below is a summary of some of the insights and advice from the session. And if you’d like to listen all the way through, here’s a link to the recording.

Top Tips for Hiring

  • Rome wasn’t built in a day! A rushed hiring process often results in a bad outcome so, bank on taking the time to get it right.
  • Put the work in at the start of the process by formulating a comprehensive plan for the recruitment and on-boarding of the successful candidate.
  • Think about why you are hiring, what is the problem you are looking to solve, how will this person contribute to the team, what will their mission be, what will “good” look like?
  • Draft a detailed person specification and get input on it internally from a broad range of people.
  • Beware making subjective judgments such as, “this candidate isn’t the right cultural fit for our business” as this could found a discrimination claim.
  • Organisational culture will be important and that is fine but, understand exactly what your culture is and map skills objectively against evidence from interviews and assessments.
  • Document hiring discussions and decisions and file these safely as these are your insurance policy against a claim from a disgruntled candidate.
  • Use the probation period for what it is for, give plenty of feedback and make tweaks if needed, communication is key during this time.
  • Schedule regular catch-ups and check-ins, not just with the recruit, but also with their manager, to get an all-round picture of how things are going.
  • Manage expectations and close the perception gap during probation if necessary – be honest, if something isn’t going as anticipated, say so!

Top Tips for Firing

  • Planning is also important at the end of the employment relationship. Think about who will manage and negotiate the exit and when and how it will be actioned.
  • Prepare draft, internal communications to avoid uncertainty for those left behind.
  • Take legal advice early before initiating the process so that you understand any legal entitlements the individual will have e.g. to a statutory redundancy payment and what process will need to be followed.
  • Decide what terms additional to any legal entitlements (if any) you will offer and whether you will require a settlement agreement to be signed.
  • Be very clear about the reason why you are firing this person so there is no confusion, why hasn’t it worked out? People generally prefer to be told the truth so be upfront.
  • It will understandably be an emotional process for both parties but, stay focused and professional and stick to the facts. Remember this is a person – be as humane as you can but, don’t make promises you can’t keep and don’t make comments during the process which may come back to haunt you!

If you have any questions, would like to discuss your options or need help please get in touch.

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