Hire slow, fire fast?

"Firing fast excludes a significant proportion of the talent pool."

Victoria Usher | Founder | GingerMay

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


Here's what Victoria Usher thinks:

The saying in its literal form is that you should take your time to hire the right people for the role, but if you find they are unsuitable then you should remove them from your business as quickly as possible.

While there is some merit in the saying, it does not allow for subtleties and individualities.

What do you think about this ‘advice’?


Since an agency is only as good as its staff, finding individuals of the best calibre and making certain they’re a strong fit for the team is as important as choosing the right clients to complement your existing roster. 

The hiring slow mantra is a reminder to set out clear criteria for recruitment and that you take the time to ensure your candidates meet those standards.

And while it is important to address early concerns around new starters, adopting a firing fast approach to recruitment is unfair to many talented people.  Individuals adapt to new roles at different rates and learn in different ways. It could take three months for some to get up to speed while others might need a year — but that doesn’t mean you should discount their capabilities. 

Firing fast also excludes a significant proportion of the talent pool. Neurodiverse individuals, for example, are shown to be incredibly creative and skilled but may be among those who need more time to realise their full potential in a role.

Would you give this advice to other people?


I strongly recommend hiring slowly and with care because the worst part of leadership for many is letting someone go. It’s demoralising for all parties and mostly avoidable.

While no recruitment process is watertight, continuously refining your procedures and investing time in vetting your candidates will mean you attract and onboard the best talent.

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


You can teach knowledge, but you cannot teach attitude. When hiring, agencies should focus on appealing to driven and motivated individuals with an excellent attitude because that’s what will bring the most value to your team. You want talent that shares your business values and strengthens your company culture, while the industry knowledge can be taught. I’d suggest seeking professional advice on interviewing best practices as well, so that businesses can find and retain that talent.

How many interview rounds when recruiting does Victoria Usher recommend? 


GingerMay’s three-step interview process is highly beneficial to our team’s growth. This process includes a practical task and is supported by psychometric testing that is overseen by a professional coach. Team members involved in the recruitment process also receive formal interview training with regular refreshers.

We make this investment not only because mistakes are so costly, but because applicants are investing their time in us. The interview process gives agencies the chance to really showcase the business, team and culture, so candidates can find the best work environment for them and employers can recruit the best talent. 

Victoria Usher's bio

Victoria Usher is Founder and CEO of GingerMay, a multi-award winning strategic PR and marketing consultancy. A former data analyst, Victoria founded GingerMay in 2010 to offer businesses a specialised PR and communications partner that understands the importance of data-driven marketing.

Victoria has received international acclaim for her work in the media, marketing and communications sector. She has won numerous accolades including Mentor of the Year at Management Today’s Inspiring Women in Business Awards and a Gold Stevie® Award for Global Entrepreneur of the Year.

Humble promo of Victoria Usher and GingerMay


Hey, so I know Victoria and her team are great to work with. So if you're looking for a new opportunity, check out their careers page

Daniel (founder Polymensa)


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