Is it wise to rehire employees you laid off?
As the economy picks up, many businesses are looking to hire.
They may be the same companies that had to lay off workers a year or two ago to survive the economic downturn. But now that things are looking up again, will they consider rehiring those same workers if they are available?
A study by Right Management, a career management group within Manpower, shows that nine out of 10 employers would consider rehiring former employees. This same study also showed that as many as 18% of workers are rehired by their former employers.
Hiring recognized talent
One of the big benefits of hiring a former employee is that this person already knows the company and the company knows them. Less training is involved and there will be little need for an orientation or probationary period.
Beyond their skill set and education is the way they fit with the company culture. Personalities cliqued and workflow was smooth. You are most likely satisfied with their work effort and ethics or you wouldn't consider them again.
Before you decide whether to rehire someone, you want to make sure that you parted on good terms. While a layoff is seldom a good thing, it is important that it was handled in the right way.
If the employee was given a reasonable severance package and no hard feelings resulted, you may feel comfortable with hiring them back again. However, if there were any negative issues, you may want to think twice about a rehire.
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What are your HR policies?
Some companies have a layoff policy that discusses the procedures for a recall. If promises were made regarding rehiring in the future, you may be obligated to honor them when your business expands.
Businesses such as construction or manufacturing may be better adapted at dealing with layoffs since their industries are often seasonal.
Other businesses may not have the experience or the policies in place to deal with such an issue. When in doubt, talk with an HR representative.
Consider the future
Rather than locking yourself in with a full-time employee as a rehire, you might want to consider extending an offer of temporary work. This way, your employee won't be counting on a permanent job. You can then expand their hours and their role after a period of time.
Temporary employees need to be aware that full-time employment will be based on both the company's performance and the employee's successful return.
Lastly, make sure your employee understands the changes that have occurred during his or her absence.
It can be helpful to treat them like a brand new employee by explaining new policies and procedures instead of assuming that the job description hasn't changed.
Rehiring an old employee can be beneficial to both parties, but only if it is done in the right way.
Clear communication must be ongoing and clear expectations must be set in order for this arrangement to be a success.
About the author
Joyce Morse covers a variety of subjects, among which include marketing, small business and social media.