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Recruiting Former Employees

September 18, 2019

By Keisha Ward, courtesy SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Leaving a position for more pay or a better opportunity should not equate to exile. If fact, maintaining positive relationships with former employees can open the door for mutually beneficial future opportunities. The rate of rehiring employees increased from 48% to 76% in 2015, according to YOH.com.

Hirevelocity recommends the following ways companies benefit from rehiring former employees:

  • Reduced onboarding and ramp up times  

  • Lower recruiting costs  

  • Skills growth  

  • Brand ambassadors

Rehiring helps to reduce the time and expense associated with recruiting and onboarding. It also sends a positive message about the company’s retention efforts, and it shows outsiders how valuable your organization is to its employees. Rehires are often former employees who have experienced work with other companies yet chose to return to you – which can speak volumes regarding company culture. They know what they are signing up for and welcome the opportunity to proceed in that direction. Past employees are familiar with the organization and can hit the ground running, saving your organization time on training and accelerating productivity. Moreover, rehires tend to commit the second time around and contribute to stronger retention rates. Rehires also come back with an added benefit – new skills! Former employees return to your organization with growth. They are able to apply newly acquired knowledge to your culture and workflow.

Stay connected

Don’t let the good ones get away. Some organizations have implemented alumni programs or social media groups to remain connected to their former colleagues. For recruiters and hiring managers, these connections can be a vital source to engage passive, experienced candidates. Maintaining connections with those you already know reduces recruitment time and cost.

The Cons

There can be disadvantages to rehiring employees as well. For this reason, it is best to thoroughly evaluate the circumstances surrounding their departure to avoid making a bad hire – twice. Before reaching out to a former employee, you’ll want to consider the following: 

  • Why did they leave?

  • Is this person reliable?

  • Has any internal conflict (relationships, processes) been resolved?

  • How has the organization changed since they left? 

  • Would this person thrive in a changed environment?

  • Will other employees question this person’s loyalty?

  • Is your organization able to offer growth to meet the individual’s career goals?  

Although rehiring is an excellent option, it has risks associated and should not be a rushed decision. Rehire candidates should adhere to the same hiring process as new candidates.  Companies should ensure that they have asked themselves, as well as the candidate, the right questions. Understanding the candidate’s goals and the company’s expectations will help both parties make the best decision. Leveraging relationships and implementing processes to remain connected to former employees will keep the options broad and could lead to improved hiring practices.

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