Is Rehiring Former Employees a Good Move?

The Pros, Cons, and How to Decide Whether to Rehire an Employee

There are many reasons why employees might quit their jobs. They may not be a good fit, lack necessary skills, or feel they are not properly compensated. Whatever the reason, should you consider rehiring an employee who previously quit?

Pros of Hiring an Former Employee Over a New Employee

Hiring a former employee can be easier than hiring a new employee. They already know the company’s culture, they are familiar with the work environment, and they are familiar with the company’s products and services.

The onboarding process is easier and faster, and the formeremployee’s knowledge of your company and work processes should help him or her to become productive very quickly. The rehire should hit the ground running, and help to keep your culture intact. A formeremployee is a known quantity, and this could eliminate the risk of making a poor hire.

Cons of Hiring a FormerEmployee Over a New Employee

Despite the benefits of rehiring an employee, it’s not always the best option. There are a few things you should be aware of before hiring someone who has already worked for your company.

An formeremployee might not be as motivated as a new employee. They have been here before. Will the move back prove to be a temporary stepping stone for them?

It may be that the employee is reticent to take on tasks that they used to do. Their career has moved on. They may be more qualified now, and have a more responsible role with the current employer. What is their motivation to return?

It may also be that your company has changed from when the employee last worked for you. Leaders come and go. Company culture evolves. Your working practices adapt and change. A former employee may need as much onboarding as a new employee ─ and if your company isn’t the same one that they left, there is no guarantee the rehired employee won’t quickly seek a new opportunity away from you.

You should also consider how the employee left. Was there any animosity? Did they leave a mess behind them that their team and colleagues had to clear up? Did the employee make errors that might cause tension upon their return?

Should You Rehire an Employee Who Quit?

Right now, formeremployees are being rehired at a high rate. Many employees who quit during the covid pandemic are seeking a return to their previous employers. A UKG report has found that almost one in five employees who resigned during the pandemic have returned to their previous employers, and more than four in 10 are considering doing so.

Every situation is different. In some cases, it might be worth rehiring a solid performer who left on good terms. However, if you’re unsure, a new or internal hire is more likely to stay longer and improve their performance over time, which can make the upfront onboarding investment worthwhile.

If there was no issue with the employee’s work, and if they left on good terms, then rehiring may be a good move. You should also consider how long they have been away from the business, and how much onboarding they will require. Finally, ask why they left. This will give you a strong idea of whether they are likely to leave again soon.

Finally, it’s worth noting the findings of a Harvard Business Review study that concluded:

  • Returning employees’ performance tends to remain the same after being rehired
  • Internal and external hires improve more over time than rehires
  • Returning employees are more likely to quit than both internal and external hires

Should you rehire formeremployees or hire from an external pool of incredibly talented candidates?

We’d welcome the opportunity to partner with you and demonstrate just how effective our processes, recruiters, and networks are for our clients. Contact Lakeshore Talent today, and ask us anything you need to know. We’ll be happy to answer.