Hiring & Firing

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Hiring & Firing

First lets talk hiring ...

During the course of my twenty-plus career as an army officer there were a number of times when I had to hire civilian employees.  One particular situation was when I was trying to fill a GS-12 Transportation Officer's position, (Big Bucks)! I interviewed three applicants, all three of the people I interviewed were extremely well qualified.  I wish I could have hired all three. I selected the one I through was the best of the best, hired her and then sent letters to the other two telling them why I did not hire them.  

One of those I rejected sent a letter back thanking me for being so professional and asked if I would speak to her organization, (the Federal Working Women of OC, I think it was), she asked me to speak to them on … Interview Techniques.  I did!  It was extremely rewarding!  I almost felt bad about not hiring her, but I was still confident I had hired the right person.  

In today’s world, you should not hire anyone without being sure you feel he/she is the best qualified person for the job. You should also:

#1. Keep a copy of his/her resume

#2. Present new employees with a JOB description or an employee contract 

#3. Conduct training classes with all new employees  

#4. Send a letter to those applicants you rejected telling them why you did not select them, (this is not required but it is definately a goodwill jesture and may even avoid other issues down the road).  And not only that, it may help them in any future job searches.

Most employers don't think they can get into any trouble in the hiring process, wrong!  You can get into dam near as much trouble in the hiring process as you can in the firing process.  Let me explain!

In the hiring process there are certain federal and state laws you must follow.  You must do all you can to hire the most qualified applicant or risk a descrimination lawsuit from one or more of the people you did not hire.  Based on my personal exprience, the best way to protect yourself is as follows:

#1. Hire the most qualified person for the position based on what you see in their application and the personal interview. You are also allowed to consider their attitude etc., but whatever you consider be sure to indicate that on their application so that if there is ever a question you can go back to their application and show why you selected them.

#2. The most important thing is that you not select anyone based on their (dam near everything/you know the drill) ... just keep it as professional and honorable as possible.  

Now lets talk firing ... want to save some time ...

Don't Fire anyone before you talk to an Attorney!

(You should talk to your attorney as soon as possible as there will

very likely be some things he/she will want you to

do before you start the firing process)! 

This is a big issue for most business owners Some business leave this up to their HR managers. That’s mistake number one. Generally speaking, poor performers know they are poor performers and they are usually far less angry about being fired as they are about the who and way they were terminated.  How do I know this … been there, done that … more times than most.  

Most people never think about this but one of the most difficult jobs employers ever face is the firing of employees.  People simply have a hard time looking someone in the eyes and telling them that they are being terminated. 

How do I know this!  Most don’t think of the military this way but I can tell you without hesitation the military have the same kinds of problems as are found in the civilian sector but maybe in larger numbers.  

During the period 1982-1985 I work as the Chief of Transportation and Packaging at The Defense Contract Administration (DCAS) Los Angeles).  After being there for about 60 days I realized that my secretary was about as worthless as a set of ... on a bull!  She was exceptionally attractive and it was clear to me this was probably the primary reason why she was still there BUT it was also because everyone was convince that as a Union employee, it would be dam near impossible to fire her.  Wrong Answer!

After much effort to get her to correct / improve her work ethics, I decided that she had to go. And then the union stepped in.  They told me that it’s was almost impossible to fire her and I would be better off to bite the bullet and move on to my next duty station when my time was up … Second Wrong Answer!  Long story short, about four months later I handed her walking papers and she was gone. Point being:  There is a "Right Way" to do things and when done correctly, it is far more difficult to lose a court battle. And in this particular case the union knew I had done the job correctly so they stepped aside. 

Be advised, firing an employee falls under a whole new ball game and my advice to you is simple:  Talk to an attorney first! 
NOTE:  I learned early in life that there something to be said for doing things in the most honorable manner as possible!