Should You Rehire Past Employees? The Pros and Cons

October 15th, 2011

One of the issues that hiring managers have to consider is rehiring candidates that used to work for their company.  These candidates are sometimes referred to as “boomerang” employees because they come right back. There are benefits and drawbacks to hiring back employees. Unlike new candidates, these former workers are known to the employer, however their background and value as candidates still needs to be considered in the hiring process.

Pros of Rehiring Former Employees

One of the benefits of rehiring a previous employee is the cost savings in the recruitment process. Since the employee is familiar with the company, this can help with saving money and time. Rehires may or may not have to go through an in-depth interviewing process, because HR personnel are already familiar with their capabilities.

Rehiring previous employees, helps save on training costs. The employee is already familiar with the job tasks. Even if they were away for an extensive period of time, there may be minimal resources needed to re-orient the employee. New employees need to be trained and may need to go through an on the job period depending on the position.  Rehires do not have this issue.

Rehires are already familiar with the company’s procedures and how it operates. Managers may often worry about how new employees will fit in and work alongside other workers. New employees are an unknown prospect. It is hard to measure if they are reliable, hard-working and a good fit until they are on the job for a period of time. With previous employees, managers will be aware of this. Supervisors can review previous employee evaluations and even the work they did to get an idea of the type of worker a rehired employee is.

Rehired employees may also come in with renewed enthusiasm and loyalty. Employees may have liked working for the company and appreciate that they were brought back on. They may have worked for other organizations that did not treat employees so well and will do a better job after being rehired.

Cons of Rehiring Former Employees

One of the problems with bringing in previous employees is that they may harbor feelings of resentment. If the rehire was terminated or laid-off, there may be hard feelings with the employee. There may be an initial feeling of reconciliation after the rehire, but antipathy may develop. If stress starts to build up, this problem may be compounded.

Rehired employees may not mesh well with existing workers, especially if there were issues in the past with co-worker relationships.  If there have been turnovers or transfers, rehired workers may be with new people. If they do not work well together, problems may develop.

Taking on rehired employees can provide great short-term benefits to an organization. Hiring authorities have to take into account the background of the rehired employee and his or her past performance, to ensure long term success.

For more expert career and recruitment advice, be sure to check out our other career articles and tips here at Davis Staffing!

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