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.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.