Hire slow, fire fast?

"People learn how to pass interviews. Many mistakes can be made in the hiring process. Most often because you are busy, overworked and need somebody fast."

Dino Myers-Lamptey | Founder | The Barber Shop

How would you explain what “hire slow, fire fast” means?


This is what Dino Myers-Lamptey thinks:
People are the single biggest accelerator or decelerator in your business. The differences are often not down to the things that can be read on their CVs alone. People learn how to pass interviews. Many mistakes can be made in the hiring process. Most often because you are busy, overworked and need somebody fast.

"Hire slow" is all about making sure you have the right processes in place to bring enough options to the table. But also to assess them, check out their references and set them the appropriate task that can help them prove they are ideal for the job. Without you having to find out they’re not, while on the job.

In the inevitable event that it does happen - and it can all too often - "fire fast” is the belief that if you make a mistake, you need to take your medicine and deal with the people’s issues, when it’s clear they aren’t the right fit.

The first few months should be when they are excelling at impressing you. The best keep getting stronger. However, if you see too many mistakes or lack of output, pride and/or effort early on, then the difficult conversation has to be had, before it gets even more difficult for all.

What do you think about this ‘advice’?


It is sound advice. Most people are too quick to hire and that’s often because they recruit people like them. Seemingly reflect a young vision of themselves in the interviews. This can then lead to them compensating for the person’s poor work by being too attached to ’their’ hire, and also not realising that the best teams are diverse and multi-skilled. This philosophy reminds people to take their time when hiring and make the tough decision at the start, and a swift decision if the first one was wrong.

Would you give this advice to other people?

While I’d give this advice, I would add that a firing culture is not the one you want to create. Doing it is more a judgement of your inabilities to get the right people in, then manage them effectively to allow them to be themselves and produce their best work. Being too quick to fire can damage team morale and create a culture of fear for those left behind. This is not a place a leader wants to be in.

If not, what alternative advice would you give to agency leaders?

My advice is to diversify your networks and hire brilliant people who are not like you, but share your values. I’d suggest taking good time at entry level and setting tough briefs at a more senior level, but most of all, I’d tell every leader to make it their number one job.

How many interview rounds when recruiting does Dino Myers-Lamptey recommend? 

Anything more than 3 and it’s poor on you on multiple levels. You have work to do, they have other jobs to consider and you can find out a lot during the interview. But perhaps even more outside of the interview stages by putting your network to work.

Dino Myers-Lamptey's bio


Dino Myers-Lamptey founded a strategy-led creative agency called The Barber Shop. Using data, distribution and disruptive ideas they solve massive business problems. The Barber Shop clients are driven by purpose and strive to enrich culture. Their clients include Karma Drinks, Triumph, TikTok and Parkinson’s UK.

Dino is Co-Chair of The Alliance of Independent Agencies, CAN (Conscious Advertising Network) and is also a board member of the UK Effies, Marketing Society and a Trustee for the Brixton Finishing School and a member of the Global Snap Creative Council. In 2021 Dino was recognised as a Top 10 Media Planner by Campaign. Dino is also a founding member of MEFA (Media For All), and has recently founded Diverse Speakers.

Humble promo of Dino Myers-Lamptey and The Barber Shop


When you get a chance check out Dino's full "about me" page on Notion, where you can find out about lots more ways to collaborate with him. Dino is one of these people that is deeply vested in making changes in our industry. And if you are too, you'll get along with him.

Daniel (Polymensa founder)


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