No this isn't an insensitive bully your employees article... keep reading.
If you have started a business, been a CEO, or someone with hiring responsibilities you can relate to this scenario. You interview multiple people multiple times and finally decide on you think is your rockstar. They have the track record, resume, interview skills, and references every single box is checked. And then it happens...
You pulled the trigger on hiring them and about 3-4 months down the road they aren't living up to your expectations or their promises. To give you an example, with one of my companies we had made a couple of bootstrap sales between my partner and I and we were ready to scale. We brought in a "superstar" VP of Sales that could help us build the sales team and also help accelerate the sales cycle.
As the decision maker this puts you in a precarious position. I know for me there was definitely some pride issues that can cloud your judgement after all you made the decision to hire them. You also face the fear of having lost time, money, and potential sales if you would have hired the person. Every time I have been in this position my intuitions were right and sometimes I pulled the trigger and other times I held on with hope and of course it never panned out.
There are certain boxes you need to check. Is it the market, product, pricing, or sales cycle? The one thing it usually isn't is spending more money on advertising! An expensive lesson for another day
While it is fair to give some a chance or two, I can’t tell you how many times in my executive coaching experience a CEO or COO has kept an employee on board longer than they should. In good nature, they continued to give them one more chance, only to end up paying thousands of dollars in unproductive time.
Some mistakes are okay, as often times it’s worth it to help train the new employee or teach them how to be more efficient. But if you have a very busy schedule and so many things on your plate already, excessive training for a new employee is a difficult challenge. We recognize the natural learning curve with any new employee, but if a new hire is not living up to the expectations that were originally agreed upon, fire them as quickly as possible!
The longer you wait to fire someone who is not making valuable contributions to your business, the longer you are postponing a great opportunity for the right person. You are also losing compounded success, which is vital for growth and which you cannot make up.