When to Hire, Promote, or Fire: A Personnel Checklist by Joe Zuniga

Personnel Changes

Now that spring has sprung, and you’re planning ahead for the summer, many of my Kansas City clients add to their staff or make personnel changes, whether seasonally, or because the natural rhythms of the year mean that it’s the right time to promote someone from within.

As you perhaps understand, WE’RE in our busiest time of the year, and it means that we are burning through more payroll hours than at any other time, and so in a few weeks, I will be taking a look at our own staffing situation and making adjustments as needed.

For us, it feels like the best time to evaluate their productivity, my need for more or less hours, etc. Obviously, I would NEVER release an employee or contractor without having a proper conversation and warning, but I do also like to use this time of year as a marker, and an opportunity to promote someone from within my team.

So, I have a little checklist (surprised?) that I run through — mentally, at the minimum — before I land on offering a promotion (or making ANY personnel changes, for that matter). Thought you’d like to see it.

Before I go there, I do want to remind you that we have only a limited number of appointment slots available before April 18th. 

Simply call us: (816) 533-8000 (or shoot me an email, by clicking the button in the upper right of our site here), and snap up one of those few remaining spots before it’s too late.

So, this little checklist is by its very nature something that you would have to adapt for your needs or situation, and it certainly doesn’t cover every aspect of the issue. It simply ensures that I’m thinking through the big-picture dynamics that would be affected by whatever kind of staffing move I might choose to make.

When to Hire, Promote, or Fire: A Personnel Checklist by Joe Zuniga
“A friend is a gift you give yourself.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

You’ve got an employee with promise, but you don’t want to promote him or her prematurely. These are the primary considerations I think through before settling them into a new position…

Is the person prepared for the new job? Managers often reward hard work and enthusiasm by placing someone in a job without the proper training. I’ve seen that too often. On-the-job training is part of every new position, but there are important steps for most of my positions BEFORE they rise to new places.

Does the person even want the job? Some workers like to submit ideas but don’t want to be responsible for carrying them out. Others will jump at the chance to move up the ladder. Obviously, I like to promote the latter kind.

What do your fellow managers/partners think? Get some feedback on your possible promotion before you act. Your colleagues may ask questions you haven’t raised and will likely help you see things more clearly.

What does the employee want in a career? Some want to advance for the money, others because they’re seeking additional responsibility. Know the reasons why people want to move into new positions.

Having been there, I can confidently tell you that there’s not much worse than promoting someone to a job when they aren’t ready for it — then attempting to return to the way things were before the promotion. Think through these issues in advance, and you’ll avoid some of my mistakes.

And don’t forget — we’re right here for you, if you need us: (816) 533-8000

Feel very free forward this article to a Kansas City business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Kansas City families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.


Joe Zuniga
(816) 533-8000

Tax Hero, LLC

Joe ZunigaWhen to Hire, Promote, or Fire: A Personnel Checklist by Joe Zuniga