Hire/Fire Authority

by Evil HR Lady on May 23, 2008

Not sure if this one is quite your ball of wax, but I’m looking for a way to say, as a positive statement, that I have had the authority/reponsibility of firing as well as hiring on my resume.

Is there a better term to use?

Ahh, excellent question. (See, now I’m much less crabby since I no longer have 10.5 pounds of baby pummeling my ribcage.)

Having supervisory experience can mean a broad range of things and certainly not all supervisors have hire/fire authority. And many people who technically have hire/fire authority can’t say boo! without 14 layers of people signing off.

For the record, I think all hiring and firing decisions should be made through consultation of the direct manager, his manager and HR, but with the direct manager having greater input. Most managers don’t have great management skills and it’s helpful to have input.

But, that is not your question. Your question is for your resume. I’m not a recruiter and I’ll tell you that on my resume it states “managed team of.”

I don’t know what type of organization you worked in. Generally, I think for situations where you managed professional level people, hire/fire authority is assumed. If you are managing in a retail or restaurant or factory environment a “supervisor” may not always have hire/fire authority. So,in that situation you’d want to make it clear.

I think a more interesting thing to note on a management resume for another management job would be not only your role in hiring and firing, but in developing. I want a manager who knows that a big part of her responsibilities will be to develop.

Is there a better word than fire? I don’t think so. But I would talk about hiring, firing and developing employees. That is, of course, if you did all those things.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Rodolphe Mortreuil May 23, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Doesn’t hire/fire authority usually go hand in hand with P&L responsibility? It is always how I read it (though I always ask).

If so, and if you did have P&L, then people will infer you had hire/fire. If not, then I would put hire/fire explicitely on the CV as it is true that “Management Responsibility” is used by everyone who has ever had an assistant or managed a project.

Termination seems to me a more gentle word than fire, but I don’t believe it matters. There’s a ring to “hire/fire”, and if you’re afraid of the word, aren’t you going to be afraid of the act?

As an aside, EHRL, who are you and what did you do with Evil HR Lady? Give us our crabby blogger back!


Alexandra Levit May 23, 2008 at 6:03 pm

As a follow up question, is having firing authority specifically experience that’s considered necessary and/or desirable?

I would think that “managed a team of…” would suffice.

EHRL – did you just have a baby, and was he/she really 10.5 lbs? I just had one too, but mine was about half that size. However, I did have all-day sickness for 12 weeks. Want to trade?


Alexandra Levit
Author, Success for Hire
Blogger, Water Cooler Wisdom


courtingyourcareer May 23, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Developing employees is also huge during the interview process. I think most interviewers would agree that they’d like to hear about your plans to work one-on-one with each member of the team to develop individualized personal development plans.


Dave Ferguson May 24, 2008 at 12:27 pm

I’m curious about the desire to say, in effect, “hey, I could fire if I had to.”

As with hiring, firing can be done well or done poorly. Without knowing the questioner’s industry or goals, it seems to me that wanting to talk about being able to fire shifts the conversation needlessly toward the rough and tough.

Any fool can fire (exhibit A: Donald Trump). As an interviewer, I’d be much more interested in something along the lines of “full responsibility for the Haggis Marketing Group, including hiring, retention, and development…”

Maybe something relevant about changes in the team over time (“increased sales 4000% with no increase in staff” or “retained market share while cutting staff 80%”).

Firing people is necessary, but you don’t want the resume to say “I love the smell of pink slips in the morning.”


HRAngelOfDeath May 28, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Just simply state that you managed the staffing for your team. As an HR professional, if I see that statement on a resume I infer that the candidate controlled all aspects of the staff, including hiring, firing, development, discipline, etc.


artchickhb June 3, 2008 at 1:07 am

I work as a recruiter, and I see “Recruitment and Dismissal/Termination of Employees” on resumes all the time. It’s a polite way of saying the same thing, and looks better than the word “fire” to most people.


Chris January 14, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Use “On-boarding/Off-boarding”. It implies hiring/firing but expands the term to all of the surrounding activities involved in these two areas.


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