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Episode 11: Hire Slow, Act Fast: Understanding the Concept and Importance of Hiring the Right People
In this episode of The Wize Guys, Brenton Ward with Jamie Johns, and Ed Chan discuss an in-depth explanation of the ‘hire slow & act fast’ concept.
Good candidates won't wait for you. On the other hand, remove the rose-tinted glasses before you rush into a new hire. Lots to consider in this short, punchy conversation to find out. So make sure to grab a pen and paper for another action-packed episode.
0:34 - Understanding the concept of ‘hire slow & act fast’
1:33- How to ensure hiring the right people
2:16 - The importance of following a recruitment method
2:51 - The principle of getting the job done
3:03 - Why you should act fast with good candidates
4:14 - How does losing ‘good people’ can impact your accounting practice
5:42 - Why having the right process is essential
“Why don't you start the hiring process you've got some good candidates, act fast. They won't last long. The good candidates go quickly..” - Jamie Johns
“You want to have a real methodical systems-driven way to hire people and that's the highest slow.” - Jamie Johns
“In terms of hiring slow. The emphasis here is the follow-on method, follow mythology that takes all the emotion out of it because you don't necessarily need to like the person. Sometimes we just meet people and we sort of instinctively like them. Sometimes we instinctively don't like them and sometimes we call it intuition. This is my intuition. This is my gut feeling. And for more experience, that's all rubbish. That's all rubbish. What you want to do. You don't need to lock the person in terms of them getting a result for doing the job. They just need to get the job done and get a result. You don't need to lock them in a personality sense.’ - Jamie Johns
“I just echo what Jamie said that the really good stuff goes very quickly. If you're procrastinating and taking time to act, you're going to lose the good people that they're really good to. People just want certainty. They want a job. They want certainty. They want to work.” - Ed Chan
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Download the full transcript here.
Brenton Ward: Some of the things we want to talk about today, and I think guys when it comes to recruiting, there's a lot of sayings out there, but this is something that you'd sent through to the other day. Jamie, not, I haven't seen it in this form before. I've seen the hire slow fire fast, but you've got a different take on it to hire slow and act fast. Can you just give us a bit of context to that?
Jamie Johns: Yeah. Look, essentially, you've gotta slow in the sense that you're innate a real methodical method of hiring. I've learned this both from Ed and from a firm in America called topgrading a long story short.
And in terms of hiring slow, if I go to the extreme when I first started. I think the first person I hired or I gave them a job after a 20 minutes chat, I had worked just backing up the pipe of work was on my desk like this. And I'll just remember saying go away. ‘Yeah. Well, can you start tomorrow?’ So it was the oldest. It was reactive as Dr. Stephen Covey would say reactive, totally reactive. But you want to do the opposite of that. You want to have a real methodical systems-driven way to hire people and that's the highest slow.
That's to put walls in front of the people that you're trying to recruit to make sure that they are going to be the right fit. And when we're recruiting, like as firm owners, it's really difficult because often a fish can't see water. We won't see the bad attitude. We'll probably have rose-colored glasses a lot of the time. I'm like, ‘Oh, I did.’ I want to say the person that I've hired is probably could be potentially the smartest person I've come across, but with a really bad attitude.
In terms of hiring slow. The emphasis there is follow on method, follow mythology that takes all the emotion out of it because you don't necessarily need to like the person. Sometimes we just meet people and we sort of instinctively like them. Sometimes we instinctively don't like them and sometimes we call it intuition. This is my intuition. This is my gut feel. And for more experience, that's all rubbish. That's all rubbish. What you want to do. You don't need to lock the person in terms of them getting a result of doing the job. They just need to get the job done and get a result. You don't need to lock them in a personality sense.
What I mean by acting fast is why don't you start the hiring process and you've got some good candidates, act fast! They won't last long. The good candidates go quickly, Brenton. So when you are hiring, if someone puts an email in your inbox from sake, and they're a good candidate, don't take two days to get back to them because I won't be there. You're not seeing a lot of the cands in my experience. The CV will come in the inbox and I'll start the process they want to get back to them in three days. So you'll lose them. You've got to hire slow and act fast.
Brenton Ward: I would like to drill into a couple of those things that you can swipe the bat and I'll do so throughout the session because I'd say a lot of is pricked up. When you said you don't, have to like your employees. Now, contrary to that, there's the conversation around culture and things like that. So I want to give that the right amount of context as well, but I'll touch on that slightly later in the session.
Ed anything to add on this topic of reactionary hiring? A lot of us have busy and we're so busy that we know we need to hire, but then it kind of gets pushed to the side because there's work to be done. So this concept of hiring slow-acting fast, you're very much in line with?
Ed Chan: Yeah. I just echo what Jamie said that the really good staff go very quickly. If you're procrastinating and taking time to act, you're going to lose the good people that they're really good too. People just want certainty. They want a job. They want certainty. They want to work.
So if you're slow in acting, they'll act themselves because they act fast themselves. They're good people and good people act fast. Then, if you're slow in acting, you're going to lose them. So I, I can't stress that enough. Yes, you put them through quite a lot of hurdles to determine attitude.
Once you make a decision, you've got to act very quickly, you know, the process of deciding to do it properly, digest, and react to the situation, but do it properly because it's very expensive to get it wrong. Can cost quite a lot of money. Generally, you might lose two or three months whilst you're going through the probation period. And then you find out that they're the wrong person.
So you let them go. And then you start again. So you've been lost, you've lost another three months and then you've got to start again so effectively, you've lost six months and, and that's very, very expensive and it's frustrating and risky to it.
It's better to go through the process properly. So, it's all about the process. There are no, you don't hide bad people. You just have the wrong process. If you have the right process, hopefully, the right person will come out of that process.
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