Start Up Basics: How to Fire Someone; TWIST Notes


Many people have panic attacks or hide in the bathroom before and during a firing. Most of the time, its a good relief for someone. They did a bad job. You may have thought you needed a skill set, which you don’t.

During interview: did it come up that applicant doesn’t listen, is late, is abrasive….?

Force 3 references to find out if any clues show. Some employers may have rose-colored glasses and not listen to references.

What did I do and how would that come across in a reference?

Fraud, steal: 1 strike you’re out.

You aren’t there to fix people. People in their 20s think they can change them. Even if you do manage to change them, the relationship gets too bizarre.

Make the firing fast. You don’t even need a reason. At Will employment. Get into details and hints get emotional.

Harassment: go in room with HR, say you no longer have position for employee. You can either take 2 week severance and go, or we will fire you anyway. Exit interviews are bias.

Best to examine why you hired them.

Tell other employees that it was your decision. Applicant wasn’t up to your expectation. You can say they stole, or got drunk and was bad. We don’t like to have to do it. Many times people take a sigh of relief. They ask why it took so long.

People may feel like they got screwed by fired employee.

Mean Streets: loan guy money who didn’t a back. They disappear. You never see them again. If you never liked them before, then you got a good deal.

References: good rep, speak good

If they steal, it can be tricky to speak bad about them in that way. The easiest approach is if they did good you speak wonderful about them. But if they were thieves, then you don’t have the time to give a good appraisal. Or, don’t answer the email.

If you are fired, then don’t take it personal. The world is telling you that you suck. Suing or trying to keep your job is a bad idea.

Discrimination: range of unfair firings. 9/10 results in settlement.

Insurance pays for it. If you discriminated and lose case, time for investigation.

France doesn’t make great companies, because employees are too protected. Pivoting your business model is tougher to do in other countries, when you have to let go one kind of talent for another.

If in doubt, get rid of them. Especially if someone else confirms bad behavior.

Hire slowly

It’s not a good fit. You will be happier somewhere else.

Have great COO, learn from mistakes. When you have to fire someone, it’s generally your mistake for having hired them.

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