INSIGHTS

SHOULD YOU HIRE SOMEONE THAT WAS TERMINATED?

Ultimately, there is no textbook answer to whether you should hire someone who's been fired at some point in their career. The incident may have no bearing at all on their ability to thrive within your company, or it could point to potential issues that might come up if you hire them.

Hiring the right person can prove to be difficult especially when all you have to go on are most likely a few pages on their career and education. Normally a hiring manager will be on the look-out for a college degree or current employment candidate who are not employed currently get rejected because logically good employees would never be unemployed.

Another seemingly logical point is that if you are unemployed you must be a bad employee but that is not always the case. There are many reasons why someone may be unemployed and most of these people are amazing.

If a candidate shares that they’ve been fired, they know the question is coming. Although it may feel a little awkward, this situation actually gives you the unique opportunity of having a truly candid conversation with a potential employee. Perhaps they weren’t a great culture fit at their last company. Maybe they were disliked by a manager for a reason out of their control. They could have even been bad at that job – but that doesn’t mean they’re not right for yours.

So why should you hire a candidate that has been fired?

Ever had a bad boss? I know I have and those horror stories about managers who make unreasonable demands, play favorites, underpay, illegally refuse to pay overtime, mock people for their religious beliefs, or suddenly claim that the star employee is completely incompetent when she announces a pregnancy? Not every fired employee was fired because they were awful. Some were fired because their managers were awful. Don't reject someone because they had a rotten manager.

We expect people to never make mistakes in their career path, but just because someone failed in one career does not mean they would not be a good fit for your business. I once worked at logistics firm as an Admin manager because that was the path I was most comfortable with. I failed big time. The boss was not a good fit, the culture and the business. However when I was hired by a production firm, I thought this would not work out. I ended up working with that firm for 6 years. One of the best career choices I have made.

Whoever says they have never made mistakes at work well is just a liar. Sometimes people find themselves on the outs of a job due to an unintentional mistake. And while we are all human, the question should be if they learned from the mistakes made? How did that mistake allow them to grow as a person, professionally and personally? There are always two sides to every story, so take the time to find out a potential candidate’s story.

Someone who has had a rough go of life is often ready to jump in and work really hard. If you've been fired and landed a new job, you know that you can't blow it again. You may find out that hiring someone who has had a streak of bad luck is good luck for you.

Ultimately, there is no hard and fast rule whether you should hire someone who’s been fired at some point in their career. This may hold no bearing on their current ability to do within your company, or it could point to potential issues that might come up if you hire them. The most important thing to remember is that a firing should not be seen as an automatic deal breaker, but an opportunity to learn more about the person applying for your position.

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