Why managers need training in how to hire and fire

Dean Karrel


written on September 8, 2017

The courtesy required during the hiring and firing processes is often not followed by managers.

Recently, I had two clients tell me some pretty disturbing stories about experiences they had with managers. One person said she had been on three interviews with one company, two with another, and then never heard a thing. This is even after multiple telephone calls and emails.

The other individual said he had been let go from his company after 18 years because of, “expense saving measures”. He then felt like an outcast and was even given the cold shoulder by his manager during his final few days at the office. Both clients asked me a similar question: “Is this standard practice or is it just me?”

There have been plenty of posts on LinkedIn from people writing about their negative experiences as they have looked for new jobs and gone on interviews. It’s poor business practice to not let people know where they are at in terms of the interview and application process, especially if multiple meetings have occurred.

There are also posts from people with real horror stories about the way they were treated when their job was eliminated. The lack of leadership skills shown in these instances is astounding.

Why managers need to learn these HR skills

In my career, I have been fortunate enough to have worked with some outstanding HR professionals. Because of their education and training, the vast majority of HR professionals and recruiters know how to handle both of these critical skills.

However, the real issue often lies with the hiring manager or the manager responsible for firing an employee. In my experience, some of the basic skills of interviewing and following-up with a candidate are not practiced. Rather than being honest and saying, “Sorry, you won’t be the right match for our company, but I hope you do find the right opportunity somewhere”, they go undercover and don’t return telephone calls or answer emails.

When the unfortunate task of letting someone go has to be done, they are afraid to look the other person in the eye, make up lame excuses, or just don’t show any empathy.

So, what should we do? How do we correct this? What is the answer?

Some companies are good with providing training for these processes while others are not. I’m not suggesting about four weeks or a semester of intensive classes; more like a half day program here or there, or workshops that take place over a few evenings. The training should also be retaken and reviewed every few years so that managers continue to improve their hiring and firing etiquette.

Do you agree that managers who hire and fire need to learn the appropriate techniques?

Dean Karrel is a career and executive coach and LinkedIn Learning author.

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One thought on “Why managers need training in how to hire and fire

  1. in both the situations a manager needs to make a tough decisions . So yes it would be good for the employer to provide their supervisors and managers training on hiring and firing etiquette . It would mitigate the risk of negative publicity about the organisation’ s HR processes.

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