This is exactly the opposite of the previous blog about the candidate who really grew his last company and the assumption that he’ll continue to be a great performer.  Again, it would be a mistake to assume that, based on one piece of negative information, the job seeker will be a poor candidate for employment.  A prospective employer needs to know more!

For example, what caused the termination?  Was it entirely the job seeker’s fault or was there more to it?  Could there have been a new boss, for instance, with whom the candidate simply couldn’t get along?  Was the candidate a victim of being downsized?  Was he a scapegoat in an internal power grab?  There could be a dozen contributing – or mitigating – factors that should be taken into account.

It’s as natural, on one hand, to assume that a termination means the candidate will be a poor performer as it is to assume, on the other hand, that a major success guarantees continuing successes.  Before any valid conclusions can be drawn, however, more information is needed from people who were in a position to know the facts – and who are willing to discuss them.  That’s why talking to multiple references is so important!

One dramatic piece of information about some aspect of job performance, while important, is seldom enough, standing alone, for a prospective employer to make the most informed and, ultimately, the best hiring decision.