Hiring is kind of like falling in love, except for the love part. You are seeking someone compatible, easy to get along with, aligned with your values, who also has mad skills in the area you are seeking. No one is perfect though – so where do you compromise? Fit? Attitude? Skills? Some are trainable, others innate.
The thing is, don’t compromise. Much like that romantic partner you think you can change – you can’t. Take the time to find the right person. If you are a small organization, you have no time, money, or energy for training – the new person has to be able to hit the ground running contribute right away. Go slow, very slow.
Clearly understand who you need before you begin the process and don’t waver – it’s easy to be influenced by a glowing resume or a great interview. You have a job that needs to get done, don’t settle for anything less than the best person for it.
Firing on the other hand is relatively easy – if you know someone isn’t working – fire them, quickly and decisively. Be kind and fair, yes – but be direct. It’s a hard thing to do as you are afraid of hurting feelings, and possibly affecting morale – but usually the person knows they aren’t doing the job, and the rest of the staff definitely does.
If you hire slow and fire fast – you’ll still make mistakes, but probably not as many.