Ask the Wizard says
The hire fast, fire fast approach basically can be boiled down to “it’s really almost impossible to understand whether a person is going to be a killer A match before they start working with you day to day, so best to find somebody that seems close enough, and then remove them quickly if they don’t work out.”
He goes on to talk about why hire/fire fast is harder with some types of emplyees than others, but what he doesn’t talk about is how hard firing is for a manager.
In a big company, it’s extremely hard due to performance monitoring to avoid lawsuits — a fire will take 90 days most of the time. But in big and small companies it’s hard to fire because –no matter how tough you or your employees think you are– you really really do not want to have that firing conversation. And it gets put off longer and longer and when it happens it leaves you– and sometimes your team even if they hated the guy– feeling rather wretched.
I prefer to use consultants/contractors/agencies to start the team, and hire slow and smart. I do fire fast if necessary, but it always always has a huge price, and it’s silly to whitewash that over.