The thought of rehiring an old employee may leave you with a definite no in your head, but with more people choosing to switch jobs around than ever before. The idea of rehiring a past worker shouldn’t be so looked down on.
In fact, bringing back a past team member may be very beneficial to your organization.
In order to figure out whether or not rehiring a former employee is a good idea for your company, read on as we go over the advantages as well as the disadvantages of bringing on a past hire.
But before we go any further, it’s important to note that we’re only referring to the employees that have a good standing with your company and have proven themselves to be a beneficial part of your organization.
Any past employees that were let go for reasons related to bad performance or behavior shouldn’t be considered for rehiring.
Positives of Rehiring Former Employees
Already familiarized with your company’s operations or inner workings
One of the biggest advantages of bringing back an old employee is that you don’t have to spend as much time bringing them up to speed with how you all operate along with getting them adjusted to your company culture.
Since they’ve already worked here, they’re already familiar with what it takes to be successful along with how things are carried out on a day-to-day basis.
We all know how long the process takes for a new hire to hit full productivity, so bringing someone along that is able to be fully productive much earlier is definitely a strong benefit that should be considered.
With that said, don’t assume that they’ve remembered each and everything you’ve ever told them regarding the job, they will likely need some refreshing as well as being filled in on any new operations.
New skills and experiences
Keep in mind that rehiring an employee doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to be the exact same person from which you previously worked with. In the time that they were away, they were working at a different position, went back to school, started their own business, etc. so they’ve garnered a number of new skills that they can now bring to the table.
Not only that but if they were working for a competitor in the same industry, they could bring over industry-specific information that could better your company and could aide in bringing over new problem-solving skills.
Boosts employee morale
When you give a past employee a chance and choose to bring them back on, other employees take note and realize that they’re working at a company that is willing to reconsider an old employee and didn’t harbor any resentful feelings towards them.
Along with that, current employees seeing an old employee come back lets them know that their current position is a good one since people are willing to come back to it.
All of these work to increase your level of morale in the workplace which will result in an increase in productivity among your employees.
Less risk involved
Whenever you bring on a new employee, you are taking a major risk that they won’t jump the boat and decide to leave in the middle of training and cause you to repeat the entire hiring process all over again. Also, there’s a chance of onboarding someone that isn’t as qualified as their resume makes them out to be.
That’s why hiring someone that was previously with your organization is less risky than bringing on someone new. You’re well aware of what the employee is capable of along with knowing that they’re able to function well in your company’s environment.
Higher retention rates
Although it may seem backward, employees that choose to leave and come back are actually much more likely to stay than the typical employees. This is because they’ve learned that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, so to speak.
Now that they’re back at their original position after working another job for some time, they understand how good they have it and appreciate the company much more than they did beforehand.
Negatives of Rehiring Former Employees
Always a chance that they will leave again
Now that we’ve gone over the benefits of bringing on a past employee, let’s go over some of the negatives that can occur. The first being that there’s still a chance that they can change their mind and leave again.
Although they may show plenty of signs of maturing as an employee, if they were willing to leave your company once, then there’s really no reason to think that they wouldn’t do it again.
Having feelings of entitlement
Although they’re still considered to be a new employee, they may not see themselves that way which can lead to feeling that they have seniority and are owed certain perks that come with being on the job for a longer period of time.
May not necessarily be the best candidate for the job
Seeing a past employees resume in your inbox may intrigue you enough that you really don’t pay enough attention to your pool of candidates that are also vying for the position. Even though that pool of other candidates may contain someone that is more qualified for the role than they are.
This is why rehiring someone may not always be such a great decision, the benefits of bringing on an old employee (less time spent training, quick assimilation to company culture, etc.) tend to overshadow the competition even though another candidate may be a much better fit.
Don’t want to reignite issues with past employees
Before you bring someone back on, you should be sure that they don’t have any issues with any of your current employees and vice versa. Although it isn’t always stated, a big reason as to why people change jobs is because of a toxic work environment caused by a coworker that they don’t get along with.
So make sure that any issues they had with any past teammates (if any) are straightened out before you make your final decision.
Not interviewing them as thoroughly as you interview other candidates
This one isn’t necessarily a negative as much as it is something that you need to pay attention to if you’re considering onboarding a past employee.
Don’t make the mistake of glossing over certain interview subjects or questions just because you feel like they aren’t necessary.
In order to be sure that your rehire is the best candidate, you have to put them through the wringer as you would with any other candidate. This includes reference checks, skills tests, etc.
So is hiring a past employee a good idea?
It really depends on many factors revolving around the situation and the relationship that the company has with the employee, but as more and more employees choose to stay at their jobs shorter than they previously used to, it’s best that you don’t jump to any harsh conclusions regarding the candidate simply because they have a couple of short stints on their resume.