5 Reasons to Rehire Former Employees

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While it is still not uncommon for organizations to have a policy against rehiring former employees. Research has shown that these “boomerang employees,” are becoming more and more common on how organizations hire talent. A survey conducted by Workplace Trends shows that 76% of HR professionals say they’re more likely to hire boomerang employees now than in the past.

Where does your firm stand with this? While a lot of professionals think it’s a great idea, some still don’t. If your company happens to be of the latter opinion, perhaps this article can give you a little something to think about. Look and see just why rehiring former employees could be the key to the success of your business.

Not rehiring former employees makes perfect sense regarding 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.

However, times have changed; and with them has come different expectations about rehiring former employees who quit. Few, if any, employers these days expect employees to stick around for many years. In fact, the median tenure for workers age 25 to 34 is 3.2 years. Workers in management, professional, and related occupations had the highest at 5.5 years. Most know that employees will move between employers multiple times over the course of their career (even baby boomers clock in at over 11 job hops, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and that many of them will even change careers entirely, some more than once.

This is not to say that workers today are any more disloyal or non-committal than employees in the past. 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. Still, they may intend to further their career with a different company at some point in the not-so-distant future. With the average switch in employment netting a roughly 3% raise, many employees who leave for another job simply want to increase their take-home pay. Loyalty and commitment have more to do with what the employee does for their employer presently — not what they will do for them indefinitely.

The overall culture of employment has changed; individual organizations have updated their own culture to align with these new expectations. Not only are companies allowing eligible former employees to apply, but some employers also even encourage it!

Here are five big reasons why we might suggest our clients consider doing the same:

  1. Former employees already know the organization.

They’re familiar with the operating procedures, the rules and traditions of your client’s culture, and the people with whom they worked previously. Consequently, it takes less time for them to acclimate to the work environment. Your clients can usually onboard them more easily and train them more quickly, filling the position at a fraction of the cost.

  1. They have new knowledge.

Often, when you rehire employees, they return with additional knowledge, skills, and abilities. Sure, they took their employer’s investment in them to another workplace, but they’re coming back to your organization with that other employer’s investment, which you can now leverage.

  1. It shows you value your people.

Communicating that former employees are welcome back highlights the fact that people like working for your organization see the company as the place they’d like to be, even if they have other options.

  1. It creates trust.

Prospective candidates and current employees understand that you see them as a potential threat to the organization that needs to be deterred from leaving. Instead, it shows them that you trust your people and that your company is interested in their lives and careers extends beyond the timeframe of their employment. That reciprocal trust makes the employment relationship much more productive, rewarding, and enjoyable.

  1. It keeps you competitive.

Your competitors are likely open to rehiring their high performing former employees. If those competitors are competing with your organization for workers, you don’t want to unnecessarily limit the pool of strong candidates. That puts your company at a disadvantage.

Even with these 5 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.

As we work with our clients to help make HR decisions, they need more than a gut feeling to make the best choices for their organization. The solution is knowledge-based HR and Compliance resources from those with years of experience. Book a consultation today and get access to Visium Resources’ years of staffing and hiring experience so you’re prepared for any hiring or staffing need.


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