Revenge Hiring and Revenge Firing

What happens when someone is Hired to get even or Fired to get even?

Recruitment is one of the most important factors when it comes to putting your organization into a position where it can compete, and be successful. Getting the right people into the right positions is crucial, and if done correctly, sets your organization up for success.

Conversely however, if a company’s recruitment policy is carried out poorly, or individuals within that company are not held to account, then you are going to have issues – and serious issues, not very far down the line. Here we deal with perhaps the worst instance of how recruitment can go very wrong.

Revenge hiring: what is it?

In a nutshell revenge hiring is where someone in the business hires an individual merely to get one over – or to get revenge – on someone else in the same organization or used to be. Incredible though it sounds this goes on, and it goes on a lot more than you would ever guess.

Under the wide umbrella of revenge hiring, the motivation is often different in each case, but the one constant is that the underlying reason for the hire is not solely for the benefit of the business, but the individual doing the hiring.  Here is how it looks

  • The re-hiring of a fired employee: This is where an employee is fired by one manager, only to be re-hired by another manager.
  • The roadblock hiring: In order to block a high calibre individual from climbing the ladder, a manager hires someone to fill a newly created additional layer.
  • The upper hand hiring: This happens when the CEO goes against your advice and hires someone you don’t believe is capable of doing the job.
  • The HR vs. the business hiring: This occurs when the business decides to hire their pre-selected candidate instead of following the correct HR practices.

The cause and effect

Whatever way you look at it, revenge hiring is bad news not only for the organization, but more often for those being hired as well. If not checked, it will spread and eat away at your organization like a cancer.

When it is brought to the attention of the hiring manager they will almost always trot out the business reasons behind the decision, but as it is crucial, you have to be firm.

This type hiring strategy puts the organization in a weaker position against its competitors. This is bad news for everyone, from the lowest employee, up to the CEO and the shareholders.

Revenge firing: what is it?

The opposite effect of this type hiring is when someone is fired for revenge:

  • The firing of a hired employee: This occurs when a manager fires an individual who has been hired by another manager.
  • The firing of an ethical employee: This occurs when an employee is fired because he/she refuses to align themselves with corrupt or unethical practices.
  • Firing of “once useful” toxics: This occurs when a manager fires an employee they have used to do their “dirty work”.
  • The boycott firing/scapegoat: This happen when a senior wants to deflect the attention from him or herself, showing that the fired is the one responsible for the present situation.
  • The Firing Resignation: Even though it is seen as a resignation, but actually it is hidden under a top manager’s desire of firing.

Like its sibling, revenge firing is an incredibly destructive practice that needs to be stamped out as soon as it becomes evident it has taken place. Not only is your organization depriving itself of potentially talented individuals, but you are wide open to tribunals and legal action.

Ensuring the correct hiring, dismissal policies and procedures are in place and are always followed is a great way to ensure you are in compliance.

Remember in the end it is about hiring the best and the brightest.

About the author: Sharoq Almalki, an Employee Engagement expert, author and public speaker.

Dr. Sharoq Almalki is a distinguished HR practitioner in the Middle East, specializes in Change Management, Performance Management, Employee Engagement Management, and Talent Management. Dr. Almalki is an Executive Management Member who has promoted policies conductive to the best interests of employees and the organization.

Early 2015, Dr. Almalki won the “100 Most Talented Global HR Leaders” Award, while in 2013, she won the “Young HR Professional Award” at the HR Summit and Expo 2013 in Dubai. She was also the winner of the Qatar Business Women Award for her outstanding efforts in the area of Future Goals and Financial Performance. Currently she is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society – the world’s largest honor society recognizing and encouraging scholastic achievement and excellence from all academic disciplines as well as a Fellow of the Gulf Talent Advisory Board and Fellowship of the Chartered Management Institute.