Jason Evanish’s tweet tonight prompted this blog post:
One of the hardest things to do in a startup or regular company is to fire an ‘A’ player. I’ve had to do it a couple times and it is extremely painful. Jack Welch says that if you have a high performer that doesn’t buy into the corporate culture you should do a public hanging.
The better you hire the less you fire. We’ve continued to improve our hiring process over the years and are in a good spot now. Do we still make mistakes? Yes, definitely. The good news is that we’re strict, and we’ve trained many of our team members in the process — the results speak for themselves.
When we started to ramp up our hiring 12 months ago team members, being really nice people, would say ‘yes’ to most candidates because the candidates were nice people — not because they fit our core values. As the candidates that reached me got turned down, each one provided a good training session to explain to my team members which core value(s) weren’t met and how that was revealed. The end result was much better screening of candidates.
Firing ‘A’ players is a necessary part of a startup, and should not be taken lightly. It is one of the hardest things to do as an entrepreneur and leader, but also a great learning experience for the team members on the bus.
What else? What other thoughts do you have about firing ‘A’ players in a startup?