Hiring the Previously Fired

May 13, 2019 By: Dave Rietsema
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No one likes being fired. Not only does it mean that the person who was fired now needs to search for a new job, but being fired could be construed as a black mark on their career. Many companies see being fired as a major red flag and have a policy of only hiring those who are currently employed.

However, getting fired shouldn’t immediately rule someone out as a candidate for your company. Getting fired doesn’t necessarily meant that someone is a bad employee or that you’d be wasting your time and money recruiting, hiring, and training them. On the flip side of that, just because someone has never been fired doesn’t mean that they’d be a stellar employee.

Getting fired isn’t always the fault of the person who was let go. The problem could have been with a manager or a boss. The candidate could have just been a poor fit for the position or the company culture.

A promising candidate shouldn’t be overlooked simply because they had a bad former boss.

Get Their Side of the Story

If a candidate is otherwise a good fit for your company, having been fired shouldn’t necessarily be a red flag. The first step towards determining whether they’ll be a good candidate for your company is to hear their side of the story. Let them tell you why they were fired from their previous position.

If you make a general policy to never hire anyone who’s been fired, you could be missing out on some stellar candidates. Fired employees may not have been a good fit for their previous job, but they could be a great fit for a position at your company.

Watch out for Negativity

Something to look out for as the candidate is explaining their side of the story is how they speak of their former employer. If they take the interview as an opportunity to rant and to blame their former employer, that can be a red flag.

Learning Opportunities

An important thing to listen for is what the candidate learned from the experience. Making mistakes is an important part of the learning process. Even if the candidate was the problem that caused their own firing, if they’ve since learned from those mistakes, then they could still be a good fit for your company.

Check Their References

While it’s unlikely that the candidate has named an employe that fired them as a reference, what their other references say can tell you a lot about their work ethic. You can find out whether or not there’s another side to the candidate’s story or it may show that your candidate was simply a bad fit for their previous position.

Make the Most of Second Changes

Even if you find that everything about the firing was the employee’s fault, they may still be worth a second chance. If your gut feeling tells you that they’d be a good fit, then it’s important to listen to it. Someone who knows that they blew a previous opportunity may try their hardest to make the most of a second chance when it’s offered.

Are you looking for Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software to help you find the right candidates for your company? Visit our vendor match page to let us help you find the software that is the best fit for you.


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