No environment exists in America where people are fired dispassionately, quickly and easily.
It just doesn’t happen, folks.
Yes, there are boiler rooms and call centers where people smile and dial for dollars. Some sales quotas and metrics need to be attained in backroom offices and on showroom floors or somebody goes home unhappy.
But most people quit before they are fired in America. If anything, there’s a moment when an employee realizes that it’s not going well. They walk out before anybody tells ’em to leave.
Very few people are fired as it happens on TV, either. You know, in the heat of the moment. Because it was the right thing to do. By a CEO in an ill-fitting suit and a long tie who gave you the opportunity to close the big deal and you failed.
Most people don’t get fired, and they almost never get fired for failing. They get fired because they didn’t try hard enough. Repeatedly. Maybe HR got involved, or maybe it didn’t. But there have been warnings. And, again, they don’t always get fired. They mostly quit.
So, if you fear getting called into a meeting to talk about your job, let me tell you something: if you get called into a conference room, you’ve got some time to turn it around. And you might even have the leverage to ask for a severance package and unemployment to tide you over until you find that next job.
And let me repeat, it’s hard to get fired in America. Most CEOs have a fear of God in them put there by lawyers, and they want to avoid making hasty and rash decisions. Firing someone for a reason takes time, and it’s done respectfully. You don’t use the Cobra-style hand gesture and then brag about being a savvy leader.
A lot of people assume that “you’re fired” is something that strong CEOs and leaders say on a regular basis to people who suck at their jobs, and I know it seems like our current president might be good at firing people. The truth is that firing someone is hard work, as it should be, and happens less often than you think.
As a side note, I’m okay with that, because most managers and leaders suck just as much as — if not more than — the American worker. Very few people are good at their jobs. Plus, let’s not forget about racism, sexism, ageism and ableism.
Firing someone in America should be hard. Puts the onus back on the recruiter to help organizations find good people in the first place and voice concerns when a moron might be hired, which is exactly what a recruiter is paid to do.
So, yeah, maybe it’s not that crazy to tie a recruiter’s performance to a quality of hire metric. Because, when we live in a culture where no one gets fired, quality of hire matters now more than ever.
Laurie Ruettimann is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur based in Raleigh, NC. She’s working on her next book about fixing work due out in 2020.