Have you heard the saying, “Hire Slow, Fire Fast”? The Harvard Business Review popularized this back in 2014. If they say it, it must be true, right? NO.

I’m not as annoyed about Firing Fast. When companies delay an inevitable firing, they make everyone miserable: the employee to be fired, employees who remain, and management.

No, as always, I’m focused on hiring.

“Hire Slow” has given some managers a green light to delay decisions, as if speed itself is the culprit to poor hiring. Wrong. The culprit is lack of preparation.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Yup, good old Benjamin Franklin was right once again. Preparation prevents wasted time, lost candidates (because you were SLOW), and poor hiring decisions.

Scope the Job

Have a new job opening? First, be clear about key job aspects: job responsibilities, skills, and experience required, hours, pay and work location. Bonus: Your recruiter will love you.

Pro Tip: Don’t do this alone! Have a co-worker ask you questions and take notes. Don’t over-think this, either. Knock through each question, spending no more than 20 minutes overall.

Interview Questions

Ask all candidates the same questions. While there are hundreds of possible questions, you only need the handful that helps you identify a great fit for your opening.

Pro Tip: Knowing what to look for in responses is more important than the question itself.

Selection Process

Be strategic about how you hire. Establish responsibilities and timelines upfront and stick to them, which includes identifying who screens applications, what you’ll say to those who aren’t qualified when you’ll conduct interviews, and what background checks need to occur. When you communicate the process to applicants, they will be more patient with your timelines – as long as you keep your word.

Pro Tip: A great staffing agency will help you scope the job, define the interview, and handle the selection process.