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The Good and The Bad of Rehiring Former Employees

It might not be uncommon to hear from previous employees who want to return to your company in today’s competitive hiring environment. It can be advantageous from a hiring standpoint, but the situation needs to be evaluated to determine the potential pros and cons of rehiring a former employee.

The first step is to make sure your company has a policy in place to outline the hiring of former employees. This doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It should put in writing simple guidelines for rehiring eligibility. For example, some companies have rehiring policies that only allow employees who left on good terms to return.

So, consider the good, the bad, and the maybe good to rehiring former employees.

The Good

You Know What You’re Getting

If someone worked for your company, you know them. You know the type of work ethics they have, how they work best, their skill set, and why they left your company. It’s comforting as a hiring manager to know who you’re bringing into a company with fewer questions surrounding their fit.

They Know What They’re Getting

Rehiring a former employee means they already know your culture and how to fit it best. They also come in knowing the products or services and the operation process.

Less Onboarding Costs

Former employees come in with knowledge others who haven’t worked for the company don’t have. This means rehired employees will start contributing directly to the bottom line sooner, thanks to less training needed upon hire.

More Commitment

If someone left your company, they might want to return because they had the opportunity to experience another situation and have a new clarity of the value working for your company brings. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Rehires have a different sense of appreciation for the job than brand new hires would.

The Bad

Bad Performance Previously

If a former employee was terminated based on poor performance, this can be a dicey rehire because you could be in the same boat again with a low-performing employee. If you’re considering rehiring this type of person, think of the additional training time and costs that might be needed to get them up to speed at the level of performance necessary.

Personnel Issues

This should be an automatic red flag. If someone was let go due to personnel issues, there’s a chance it could happen again. Also, think about how that looks to current employees. A person is terminated because they didn’t follow the company’s policies, and they get rehired. That isn’t a company that is strong in upholding its mission.

In Need of Job More Than in Need of Working for Company

A former employee just looking for a job more than wanting to return to your company might jump ship when something better comes along. Don’t go into the hiring process already starting a timer on turnover.

The Maybe Good

Left for Better Opportunities

You could rehire someone who went off to get the experience they needed to return a more complete employee. That would be great! At the same time, if they left for better opportunities, why won’t they do the same again?

Laid-Off Employees

There might be some bad blood still for these types of rehires. But, again, read the situation and person because this decision will probably need to be made on a case-by-case basis.

Have you hired a former employee, or are you a rehired employee? How did the experience turn out? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Don’t Love Your Job? Try This…