In today’s changing world, it is not uncommon for companies to change their employee roster to match their customers’ needs. Employees came and went, with some staying for good and a few coming back.

While it is ok to have returning or former employees hoping to work for you again, it is crucial that you have a clear guideline for one’s eligibility to be rehired and what restrictions will be considered.

If you are uncertain if you should rehire a former employee when you have a job opening, here are some things you need to consider.

Pros of Rehiring a Former Employee

Rehiring a former employee can present many benefits if you don’t want to gamble your business or company’s future to an untested employee.

Here are some of the benefits of having a former employee back in your employ:

#1 They Already Know Your Company’s Work Culture

You don’t have to educate them about your company’s offerings, history, and culture with a former employee. They already know what to do, get to work immediately and produce the results you want.

#2 They Have Improved Their Talents Since They Last Worked For You

There are many reasons why former employees will quit working for you, and one of them could be that they wanted to improve their skills. If they have done so during the time they were not in your employ, you may be able to use their new skills to help your company succeed.

#3 They Can Show Your Other Employees That It’s Better To Remain In The Company

Having your former employees back can help you retain your workers longer. They can tell employees to reconsider quitting what it’s like after leaving your company and why it’s best to stay with your company.

#4 They Are Cheaper To Hire

Since you don’t need to train them to help them familiarise themselves with your company’s workflow and equipment, you don’t need to pay training fees and hiring.

Cons of Rehiring a Former Employee

On the other hand, rehiring former employees can be a minefield, especially if the employee in question has given you reasons to kick them out of the company.

Here are some of the setbacks that can be brought by rehiring a former employee:

#1 They Have A Grudge Against Your Company Or Your Current Employees

If you have workers who have been with you while your former employee was still working for you, there is a possibility that your former employee may have grudges against them that may affect team morale once they rekindle this feud. Your former employee may even have a grudge against you and may use the chance to destroy your company from within.

#2 They May Feel Entitled

Even though they are previous employees, they must be considered new hires when they are back. However, some former employees may disagree and expect to be treated differently by demanding higher salaries and seniority.

#3 They May Not Be Happy To Change

Companies and businesses change, and every employee must be able to adapt to the changes. Some former employees may find it hard to let go of what they know and hold the rest of the team back.

#4 They Are Not Skilled Enough For The Job

Even if the former employee has the experience for the job position, there might be another person who can do better. You should also remember that job positions do change regarding their responsibility, which may put the former employee and the company at a disadvantage if they didn’t keep their skills and knowledge up to date.

It is a tough decision to make if you consider applying to a former employee for a job opening. There is always a reason why former employees leave, and you need to be careful in deciding whether to take them back in or not. If you see that they have improved and have the skills you are looking for, hire them and do your best to reduce their reasons to leave again. If you don’t see any improvement and you see a risk in getting them back, there are other talents you can consider.

It is always a balancing act in ensuring your workforce is happy and healthy. Here are some tips to guide you on how to do that:
Covid-19 Outbreak: What are Companies doing right by their employees
7 Career Conversations Good Bosses Have With Their Employees (Regularly!)
4 Employee Perks that Won’t Bust The Budget of SMEs

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18 replies on “Should You Rehire Former Employees

  1. Nice pros and cons here. I myself have been rehired a couple of times, and have been blessed with a decent experience on those times. I don’t know how you maintain this workload of putting out quality work, it’s just amazing and inspiring, Kally!

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  2. I’ve rejoined a few former employers. In one instance I rejoined for a specific period, to get them through the busy period of the year. Other times I just went back to work.
    The real issue for me is the people. If there was someone I really couldn’t tolerate on the staff I wouldn’t accept any invitation to return.

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  3. I fired one of my senior execs once. She’d made a very serious mistake on one project. Put the project in peril. Problem was: she did not accept her responsibility. And she’d been with me for so long, she felt “safe”. So I fired her. She could not believe it.
    Six months later, she’d done a lot of introspection and asked if I would re-hire her. I said ok. 3 months trial. Just like a junior, with a pay cut for three months. She did fine and was fully reinstated. (At full pay)
    (Am I a mean Boss?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think you are a mean boss. You gave her a second chance to prove herself and she did. The problem wasn’t that she made a mistake. The problem was she wasn’t responsible. It’s an attitude issue that you manage to correct it for her.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. A sensei? Is there a word on Hokkien or Mandarin for that? I’m just getting old. The only advantage is that you accumulate experience most of which will soon be obsolete with techcnology.
            Do you miss corporate life? (I bet you do?)

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Sensei is a Japanese word for teacher/mentor. Shifu is the mandarin version of it. I do miss corporate life. It’s been 6 years away from it. Thinking of returning to it soon, maybe next year?

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