Should You Hire Someone Who’s Been Fired?

Should You Hire Someone Who’s Been Fired?

Would you consider hiring someone who was fired from a past position? If you gut instinct is “no,” you’re not alone. Hiring is hard, so ruling out individuals who have been fired is a safety precaution that many companies make in order to make the process easier and avoid choosing the wrong person. Still, while it’s in your best interest to be cautious when considering someone who was once fired, you may not want to rule him or her out altogether. Remember, there are always two sides to every story.

Take a look at these five things to review when faced with an applicant who has been fired from a position.

  1. What happened
    First things first, find out why the potential employee was fired. People are often fired for reasons beyond incompetency or bad behavior. Listen to what the individual has to say and ask candid questions about the specific reasons and circumstances behind the firing decision.
  1. The “fit”
    It’s possible that the applicant’s past position simply wasn’t a good fit. Consider both the applicant’s past company culture as well as the industry and position and compare that against your own to see how it differs. You may also want to ask the individual to describe the type of environment and company that would best fit his or her personality and skills.
  1. The manager
    Understand that a person’s boss plays a huge role in an individual’s success at a company. Perhaps the person had a boss who had unreasonable demands, played favorites, or was manipulative. Don’t discount an applicant because they were stuck with an awful manager.
  1. What was learned
    Everyone makes mistakes; how the person reacts to and learns from that mistake is what matters. Dig deep to find out what lessons the applicant gained from the experience and how it will change the way he or she works in the future.
  1. What others have to say
    Contact the references provided by the potential employee and look for trends. Do they offer glowing reports, or are they a bit iffy? Are you seeing a pattern of unethical or other bad behavior? If recommendations are overall supportive, the circumstances that led to a firing may have been a one-time thing.

When it comes to hiring someone who has been fired, the bottom line is that it’s important to look at the bigger picture. Sometimes sitting down and talking story with an applicant is all you need to realize that the individual may have been handed a bad set of cards. Remember, people who need second chances are often ready to work extra hard to prove themselves.


Posted on March 18, 2016



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