Do you hire someone that has previously either been let go or fired?

Hiring the perfect candidate for a position is indisputably critical; if successful, this may prove to act as the foundation for essential company progression. Alternatively, hiring an unsuitable employee poses a distinct risk to an organisation’s employee retention, performance and financial projections; it is therefore pivotal that correct hiring procedures are implemented in order to attain optimal candidates.



As a consequence of this enhanced screening process, many negative traits may be identified, among which, is the notorious event of a candidate having previously been fired or let go. For many employers, this marks the end of their progression within the hiring process, they are deemed to be unreliable and inefficient and viewed to be a risk not worth taking. When competitor candidates do not demonstrate similar conflicts throughout their employment history it is likely they will be chosen over those that do.





In many instances, this judgement proves to be unquestionable; such as in the case of a criminal history or abuse within the workplace. There are however several arguments as to why a candidate who has been fired or let go should not be overlooked. Their previous position for example may not have been a good fit be it because they did not fit in with the company culture or the position highlighted weaknesses they were previously unaware of – acting as a learning curve in their otherwise prosperous career path. Making mistakes in one role consequently does not mean these will inevitably translate into another. As a result of their failings, a candidate applying for a new role may be doing so with a better understanding of their abilities.



It is therefore evident that hiring an individual who has previously been fired or let go is not an entirely black and white process. In order to assist with this conundrum, experts from IScreenYouScreen (developers of an online reference checking software) outline below several steps an employer can take in order to better establish the suitability of a candidate:



1. Determine the candidate’s side of the story:

During the interview process, work with the assumption that the candidate has spent time reflecting upon their departure, asking questions designed to determine how committed they are to learning and adjustment.


If the candidate has told you they were fired, this tells you they are honest and trustworthy. Consequently, what matters most here is not the official reason for them being let go, but rather how the individual describes the event; a candidate willing to recite in detail what led to their involuntary departure, outlining changes they would make in future, demonstrates experience and maturity. Meanwhile, candidates who attribute all blame to their previous employer subsequently show a sense of carelessness. Evidently, making mistakes is not the worst thing someone can do; not learning from those mistakes is.


2. Stringently check references:

Whilst it is unlikely someone who has been fired will provide the manager who let them go as a reference, it is still possible to learn a lot for those they do provide. It is critical to conduct at least two verbal checks, and ensure you plan your questions carefully; when speaking to a candidate’s former supervisor, consider the core skills and competencies you have created for the job. If during interview you wish to ask the candidate questions about communication, decision-making and time management, then you should ask the referee he exact same questions.

A staggering proportion of employers confess to not checking references, despite its indisputable importance. If a company lacks the time or resources to conduct sufficient checks but can’t afford an external company using screening software such as IScreenYouScreen can save a lot of time and money. It remotely checks candidates’ references and sends reminders to referees if a response is not given eliminating any possibility of human error.



3. Listen to your gut:

There are, unfortunately, a large number of dysfunctional working environments and poor managers in the work place and employees often act as collateral damage for the internal politics of bad companies. It may therefore be the case that a terminated employee stands to be a great addition for a good company and manager. Instinct goes a long way, particularly if as an employer you are able to boast extensive experience in recruiting employees, trust your judgement.



Should you require assistance with reference checking, visit IScreenYouScreen’s website:

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