Employees leave their jobs all the time. There can be a range of different reasons why, and that reason may well go some way to deciding whether or not a company considers rehiring them in the future. A previous employee may realise that the grass was not greener at their new job, prompting them to seek a return. However, the company may have undergone significant change in that time, leading to them not being suitable anymore. This may not have occurred of course, meaning they could seamlessly slot back into their old position.

Advantages of rehiring a former employee;

  • Reduced time to hire, meaning lower costs.
  • Will understand the culture fit immediately.
  • Transition process will be faster.
  • Actually want to work for the business.
  • Positive impact on other new hires.

However, as mentioned earlier, it can often depend on the reasoning behind the departure of the former employee, as to whether rehiring them is a realistic possibility. If they left for personal reasons, or because of job insecurity, there may be a way back for them at the company, as long as the issues have since been resolved, and the previous uncertainties eradicated. On the other hand, if the departure was driven by poor leadership or the desire for career advancement, those problems are still likely to exist. That would make a return nonsensical.

What should be the considerations?

  • Is the former employee actually better than the other qualified candidates?
  • Are you rehiring them purely because it’s the easier option?
  • Have the reasons behind them originally leaving been resolved?
  • Will existing employees be supportive of the decision?

Therefore, you must consider a range of factors before rehiring a former employee. One way of making the decision easier could be to conduct exit interviews. By discussing their reasons for wanting to leave, you can distinguish whether a future return is possible.

Full article: Kate Smedley