As a hiring manager, the majority of your responsibilities involve attracting and integrating new talent into your organization for premium entry level jobs and internships. However, the flip side of this equation is knowing how to clean house when an employee or group of employees just aren't cutting it anymore. While this isn't an easy or desirable part of your job description – telling someone they need to find a paycheck elsewhere rarely is – there are ways you can make terminating a troublesome hire less painful for both of you. Here are some tips for leading up to and carrying out this undesirable situation.
While employees who are about to be fired may have some idea that bad news is on its way, this gut feeling is usually the result of frequent negative feedback from supervisors. An employee you intend to fire shouldn't be someone you've been complimenting and praising for weeks. If you haven't already, now is the time to sit a problematic staff member down for a serious discussion about his or her last chance to shape up. Indicate specific problem areas and how you would like to see those turn around. If after all of this the employee is still not working out, at least you can say you tried to help.
Once you've determined that there's no fixing the situation, you'll want to break the news in a way that's firm, yet respectful – as other employees will be well aware of how you handle the firing process. Call the person into a private meeting and explain exactly why you had to make this decision. Being direct is important, as you don't want the employee to misconstrue your reasoning to leave the door open for claims of wrongful termination.
Make sure you also give the employee a time frame of when he or she will have to collect his or her belongings and be out of the office. Afterward, you may want to communicate with the rest of the office – either in person or through an email – about the reasoning behind termination to put their concerns about possibly being fired as well at rest.