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Is hiring someone who was fired a worthwhile gamble?

As more and more Americans look for work in an economy sporting a 9.2 rate of unemployment, there are myriad reasons that many individuals are out of work. Some were victims of company layoffs; a percentage was running their own small businesses that went under, while others were met with the dreaded firing.

The latter group proves an interesting challenge for human resources when it comes time to interview. That being said, it is important for HR managers to remember that there is a story behind each and every individual’s dismissal from a company, so be sure not to assume the worst.

When a candidate for a position with your company comes in for an interview, it is assumed that you have already perused their resume. In the event you see a gap in employment, it is certainly valid to question the individual about the missing time.

Among the reasons for gaps in resumes can be:

n Individual took time off to go back to school or raise a child;

n Time gap was illness related;

n They were laid off or fired from a position and chose not to work for a period of time.

Being in HR, your job is to assist in finding the most qualified employee who in turn will be the best fit for your company’s opening. In the event you have an individual who is honest and indicates they were fired from a previous position, do not automatically assume the worst.

Why Do People Get Fired?

Firings happen for a variety of reasons; sometimes it isn’t the fault of the employee.

In some cases, it was a personality conflict, perhaps an issue with a co-worker or even a supervisor. While most employers will deny this, office politics still show their ugly head from time to time across the nation, so don’t just assume it was the fault of the individual let go.

In cases where there is a gap in someone’s work history and they are not forthcoming, probe a little more.

In the event they do open up, you then need to decide if the reason for firing was something you can live with. Perhaps it was an issue like being late for work or taking an inordinate amount of sick days; this is something that can be corrected.

Oftentimes, you will not even learn that a candidate you’re considering for your company was fired from another job. Let’s face it, not too many individuals are going to send out alerts to potential employers noting they were canned at another job.

While it is not set in stone, there is an unofficial credo that former employers when contacted will only inform a recruiter that so-and-so worked for them and the dates they were employed.

Did They Brag about Getting Fired?

In today’s social media frenzy that we live in, more and more details about an individual’s past find a way onto social sites.

Unless the prospective candidate is silly enough to brag about getting fired somewhere, chances are your work as an HR recruiter will be a little more challenging when it comes to filling in the holes on a resume. As an HR recruiter, it is rather obvious that you will lean toward recommending a candidate whose resume is near spotless as opposed to someone who needs to fill in some gaps.

That being said, short of the candidate who provides a disconcerting reason as to why they were fired, do not automatically discredit someone who has some resume gaps or who was fired. Hear them out and make up your own mind if they are a candidate to work for your company.

Some really good employees who didn’t work out well for one company await their turn across the nation with another company. Are you willing to give them a chance?

Dave Thomas is an expert writer on items like an inbound call center and is based in San Diego. He writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs on items like a telephone answering service at Resource Nation.

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