I Only Want to Hire People Who Have Been Fired – and Have Something to Prove

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Oct 6, 2015
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

I was once fired from a job.

I won’t go into the story because we all have a story and we all frame it to sound like a victim. In hindsight, many years removed, I would have fired me too!

After being fired I could only think about one thing. It consumed me. I wanted to show whomever I went to work for how great I really was.

I didn’t want the “fired” label to follow me, even for a minute. I wasn’t “that” person. I was better. I wanted …


Yes, redemption is the most powerful employee motivator of all time. Nothing else is even close.

It’s why I always laugh when a hiring manager tells me they will never hire someone who has been fired from a job. Really!?

I want people who have something to prove

I actually only want people who have been fired from jobs! I want people who have failed, and have a giant chip on their shoulder to show the world they are better than that.

I don’t want to hire crappy people who were fired because they actually have no skill and no personality. That’s the problem, right? We believe everyone who has been fired must be crappy.

Well, Tim, people don’t get fired if they’re good!” Really? You believe that?

Well, believe this: Good people get fired every day.

They get fired for making bad decisions. They get fired for pissing off the wrong person. They get fired because they didn’t fit your culture. They get fired because of bad job fit.

Redemption sets people apart

Good people get fired, maybe as much as bad people get fired. Unfortunately, we lump all of them into the same pool.

Redemption sets the “good fires” apart from the “bad fires.”

You can hear redemption speak when interviewing a good fire. Bad fires don’t speak of redemption, they speak of justification.  Good fires want a second chance to show the world they are right. Bad fires want a second chance to show the world they were wronged. Those are two very different things!

I like redemption motivation. It sticks around for a long while. Those scars don’t go away easily.

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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