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Managing others is never an easy job. You might have to boost motivation and productivity. Perhaps you have to engage in training and development? Then, of course, are those spats and disagreements between your subordinates that you end up stuck in the middle of. No matter how tough any of that gets, there are still two managerial duties that we all love to hate – hiring and firing.
Hiring is something that requires a lot of your time and patience. You might be trying to build up your current team. Or perhaps you’ve been tasked with developing an entirely new department? The acquisition of talented team members can feel like the biggest challenge in your role. Just creating a job ad might take you all week.
You have to detail the basic function of the role and determine the salary band you can afford to pay. Then, of course, you need to sell the company as a great place to work. The details you give will depend on the type of person you’re trying to attract. Do you want someone that’s ambitious and driven? What about your company culture would be attractive to them?
Of course, this task is so much easier if you delegate it to someone else. More and more businesses are using headhunters to find their talent. It makes sense. You want people that have a proven track record, and who come highly recommended from respected sources. This is especially true when you’re seeking creatives or leaders with an edge. Of course, the best talent will require the best packages you can offer. So what have you got?
Firing is often handed over to third party companies as well these days. This is especially true if your company is making several personnel cuts at once. If, however, you have a performance-based problem with an employee, chances are it’s down to you to deliver the bad news.
If your employee has been with the company a long time, you’re likely to need legal advice and back-up before terminating their employment. However, any employee still within a probationary period can be let go for any reason at any time. Equally, they can leave you. So how do you tackle this without it turning nasty?
Unfortunately, you can’t predict how someone will react to news like this. All you can do is maintain your composure and professionalism. Before you start the meeting, it’s important you are thoroughly prepared. Determine what you are offering as a termination package. Every employee has statutory rights to a minimum of one week’s notice plus any untaken holiday owed. This is usually paid but not worked. You might offer practical benefits, like a reference, or the option to transfer a pension.
It’s essential you have a clear and appropriate reason for firing someone, and you should give it verbally and in writing if requested. Ultimately, you want to get through this meeting without causing a big scene. Make sure it is private, and bring in another colleague to support you both if necessary. Some companies have a scripted or structured approach to this. What is yours?