Why you should hire someone who has been fired

by Cameron Edmond06 Jan 2014
Making informed hires is an important part of HR. While it would be foolish to not take note of a termination on their work history, it would be equally juvenile to write off a candidate because of it.

However, hiring a candidate who has been let go before can have its benefits. HR and recruitment expert Tim Sackett posted on his blog the five stages of being fired:
  • Shock
  • Anger
  • Sorrow
  • Anxiety
  • Determination
The final stage of determination is what Sackett feels creates fantastic employees.

“What you find is that someone who has been fired from a job comes with this cool little chip on their shoulder when you hire them.  It’s this deep down fire to show you and everyone else they know – that the person who was fired, isn’t who they truly are – they are more than that person,” he explained.

The determination to work hard and prove their worth is a quality that those who have been through hard times – such as being fired from a position – carry with them.

However, it is important that HR understands what they are getting into. Heather Legg of Talent Zoo reported on three key questions to explore when looking to hire a terminated candidate:

What happened? Why?
Why were they fired? Ask them and get their side of the story – you should be able to tell how honest they are feeling.  The important facts are if they tried to fix the situation, if they were aware of the problems, etc. It might also be worth checking with the supervisor/manager who fired them to see if the story is valid.

What do others say about them?
Go for older references as well. Have they always been on just the edge of being terminated, or are they a fantastic worker with one bad run? This will indicate if they are likely to repeat their mistakes under your employment.

Have they learnt from it?
Everyone makes mistakes, the important part is learning from them. If the person takes responsibility for their actions and can see where they went wrong, the chances of reoffending are slimmer. If they shift the blame to others, they may still have some growing up to do – the question is, should they be doing it on your dollar?



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