Employees (and companies) come and go
– a process which is healthy for everyone. When a person is leaving a business environment or has been fired, there is usually a reason for it. What happens when that particular person or organisation decides they want to re-form their previously “paused” relationship? Is rehiring employees good for your business?
First of all, that particular employee is familiar with the organisation’s culture as well as internal processes and systems.
Therefore, they would require less time for training (compared to a brand new hire) and they can start working faster without needing constant supervision. Therefore, there is no need to organise several interviews. This also saves you money and you can get back on track with your projects instead.
They have improved!
Your ex-employees don’t disappear when they walk out of your company. They may have got another job, pursued a new degree, raised family or gone travelling. Whatever the reason may be, that person has grown along with his/her skills and experiences which have hopefully made them stronger as a new hire. Therefore, you are getting a better version of your ex-employee!
They are also likely to be more committed. With thousands of jobs and companies out there, when your ex-employee decides to return back to your company it means they’ve realised that your business was more fulfilling than others.
However, you should be mindful of the reasons why your employee left in the first place. If they left for more money and are now returning for monetary reasons, they may leave again. If there is conflict with a manager/co-worker, it could lead to friction at times. The former employee is unlikely to bury this, which could possibly damage your team’s morale.
Rehiring a previous employee should be viewed as a completely new hire. They may have received better perks, seniority or compensation before but they will be starting from the “beginning”.
Former employees should be offered a job matching their skills and experiences. If those have grown since the last time they were working with you it means they could possibly be offered a more senior role. Although, this should not rely solely on the fact that they were previously working for you, as this would be unfair to your current employees.
They are probably not the best candidate for the job.
They may be the sure thing for you, but they are not the best. In a marketplace where everyone has different degrees, experiences and personalities, finding someone “better” is easy.
So, depending on your current projects and business needs, you should make sure that rehiring a former employee is a better move compared to hiring someone totally new. Also, boomerang employees may have to adjust if former co-workers have advanced to higher-ranking and higher paying positions or if someone who was previously lower-ranked is now their supervisor.
Therefore, as a hiring manager you should be able to assess whether the “new” candidate is comfortable in such an instance.
If an employee was laid off, they may have hard feelings which can prove harmful to your organisation. As an employer, you should explain why you fired them and ensure they understand those reasons. Similarly, if your employees left on their own terms you should ask them why, which is hopefully going to set better grounds on their return.
If it was due to a conflict with their manager try and recommend them to another department or take a closer look on that manager if you decide rehiring them (this is a step you should take after you’ve tried to resolve the issue internally).
According to a 2016 survey by WorkplaceTrends, 76% of HR professionals say they are more likely to hire these “boomerang employees” now than in the past. It is definitely a money and time-saving option with lots of opportunity. Although it can prove to be a bad hire and you may end up in the same place you started. Choose to hire the best person for the job and don’t take the easy option. Make sure you are well aware of your deadlines and current needs and consider those when making a new hire. Therefore, when you decide to hire back a former employee you should make sure he/she was a top performer in their own right. Otherwise there is no reason rehiring them; because you do have the alternative of hiring someone totally new who may be better.
In any case, a former employee can give you a good representation of how your business operates. If the candidate’s judgement is objective, you should listen to their feedback carefully as you could possibly change and improve your internal processes. So take advantage of this feedback, regardless of whether you are going to hire that candidate again.
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