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Financial Quotes

Hiring and Firing Quotes

  • "When looking for a senior technical manager … Amazon is believed to have asked candidates, “How would you fix the US economy?” … The accounting firm Ernst & Young reportedly asked tax-analyst candidates, “Does life fascinate you?” … and Citigroup supposedly asks prospects, “What is your strategy at table tennis?” … Google used to ask job candidates to “design an evacuation plan for San Francisco” … along with, “How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?” (Answer: about 500,000.)"
    Tim Walker, British journalist
    Source: Independent (London) (March 21, 2012)
  • "The only three true job interview questions are: 1. Can you do the job? 2. Will you love the job? 3. Can we tolerate working with you? That’s it. Those three … every question, however it is phrased, is just a variation on one of these topics: Strengths, Motivation, and Fit."
    George Bradt (1958–), US management guru and blogger
    Source: Forbes (April 27, 2011)
  • "Always be smart enough to hire people brighter than yourself."
    Caroline Marland (1946–), Irish former managing director of Guardian Newspapers
    Source: Management Today (September 1999)
  • "When I find an employee who turns out to be wrong for a job, I feel it is my fault because I made the decision to hire him."
    Akio Morita (19211999), Japanese business executive
    Source: Quoted in In Search of European Excellence (Robert Heller, 1997)
  • "Employees throughout downsized companies do not have time to think about new growth opportunities. Nor are they inclined to suggest innovations because their implicit commitment contract with the company has been severed."
    Kenneth Blanchard (1939–), US management theorist and author
    Source: “Empowerment Is the Key,” Quality Digest (April 1996)
  • "You do not get good people if you lay off half your workforce just because one year the economy isn't very good and then you hire them back."
    Kenneth Iverson (19252002), US industrialist, chairman and CEO of Nucor Corporation
    Source: Speech (February 5, 1996)
  • "Restructuring: A simple plan instituted from above in which workers are right-sized, downsized, surplused, lateralized, or in the business jargon of the days of yore, fired."
    Source: Fortune (February 15, 1995)
  • "I believe you can go into any traditionally centralized corporation and cut its headquarters staff by 90% in one year."
    Percy Barnevik (1941–), Swedish former CEO of ABB
    Source: Harvard Business Review (March–April 1991)
  • "Nothing bad's going to happen to us. If we get fired, it's not failure; it's a midlife vocational assessment."
    P. J. O'Rourke (1947–), US humorist and journalist
    Source: Rolling Stone (November 30, 1989)
  • "You're fired! No other words can so easily and succinctly reduce a confident, self-assured executive to an insecure, groveling shred of his former self."
    Frank P. Louchheim (1923–), US business executive
    Source: “The Art of Getting Fired,” Wall Street Journal (July 16, 1984)
  • "Well sometimes you just don't like somebody."
    Henry Ford II (19191987), US automobile manufacturer and CEO of Ford Motor Company
    Referring to his reasons for firing Lee Iacocca, then president of Ford, in 1978.
    Source: Quoted in Iacocca: An Autobiography (Lee Iacocca, 1984)
  • "In the end we are all sacked and it's always awful. It is as inevitable as death following life. If you are elevated there comes a day when you are demoted."
    Alan Clark (19281999), British politician and diarist
    Source: Diary (June 21, 1983)
  • "If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants."
    David Ogilvy (19111999), British advertising executive, founder and chairman of Ogilvy & Mather
    Source: Ogilvy on Advertising (1983)
  • "Recession isn't the fault of the workers. If management takes the risk of hiring them, we have to take the responsibility for them."
    Akio Morita (19211999), Japanese business executive
    Source: Daily Telegraph (London) (February 24, 1982)
  • "In a recession, people want to test me to see if I'm brave enough to have a lay-off. I'm willing to take that ridicule because it's paid off to hold on to our people."
    Kenneth H. Olsen (19262011), US computer designer and cofounder of Digital Equipment Corporation
    Source: Speech (1982)
  • "Trahey's Simple Rule: Would you hire you?"
    Jane Trahey (19232000), US copywriter and author
    Source: Women in Advertising (1979)
  • "People in the company are almost never fired … they are encouraged to retire early or are eased aside into hollow, insignificant positions with fake functions and no authority, where they are sheepish and unhappy for as long as they remain."
    Joseph Heller (19231999), US novelist
    Source: Something Happened (1974)
  • "Fire the whole personnel department … Fire the whole purchasing department. They'd hire Einstein and then turn down his requisition for a blackboard."
    Robert Townsend (19201998), US business executive and author
    Source: Up the Organization (1970)

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