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PAYDAY Workforce Solutions Blog

Five Reasons to Rehire Former Employees

On Aug 28, 2019

It’s not uncommon for organizations to have a policy against
rehiring former employees. This sort of policy makes perfect sense with respect
to troublemakers, poor performers, or others who left under a dark cloud. It’s
also understandable given that companies invest a lot of money training and
developing their people, and employees who go elsewhere take that investment
with them, sometimes to a competitor.

But times have changed, and expectations with them. Few
employers these days expect employees to stick around for many years. Most know
that employees will move between employers multiple times over the course of
their career and that many of them will even change careers entirely, some more
than once.

It’s not that workers today are disloyal or uncommitted. The
culture of the overall job market has redefined expectations around these
concepts. A loyal, committed employee isn’t likely to reveal trade secrets to a
competitor or publicly badmouth their employer, but they may intend to further
their career with a different company at some point in the not-so-distant
future. Loyalty and commitment have more to do with what the employee is doing
for their employer presently—not what they will be doing for them indefinitely.

With the overall culture of employment having changed,
individual organizations have updated their own culture to align with these new
expectations. Not only are companies allowing eligible former employees to
apply, some employers are even encouraging it! Here are five big reasons why you
might consider doing the same:

  • Former employees already know your organization.
    They’re familiar with the operating procedures, the rules and traditions of
    your culture, and the people with whom they worked previously. Consequently, it
    takes less time for them to be acclimated to the work environment. You can
    usually onboard them more easily and train them more quickly, filling the
    position at a fraction of the cost.
  • Oftentimes, former employees return with
    additional knowledge, skills, and abilities. Sure, they took your investment in
    them to another workplace, but they’re coming back to you with other employer’s
    investments in them, which can now be leveraged at your organization.
  • Communicating that you welcome back former
    employers highlights the fact that people like working for you and see your
    organization as the place they’d like to be, even if they have other options.
  • It creates trust. Prospective candidates and
    current employees understand that you don’t see them as a potential threat to
    the organization that needs to be deterred from leaving. Instead, you show them
    that you trust them and that your interest in their lives and careers extends
    beyond the time they work for you. That reciprocal trust makes the employment
    relationship much more productive, rewarding, and enjoyable.
  • Your competitors are likely open to rehiring
    their high performing former employees, and if you’re competing with them for
    workers, you don’t want to unnecessarily limit your pool of strong candidates.
    That just puts you at a disadvantage.

Even with these five benefits, a former employee may not be
the best candidate for the position. In some cases, what a new employee brings
to the table outweighs what the former employee offers, and the new employee is
clearly the better bet. In other cases, however, the former employee is the
smart hire, and ruling them out because they once quit would be a mistake.
Boomerang employees may not always be worth rehiring, but they’re often worth
considering.

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