Discover the Disadvantages of Rehiring Former Employees

By March 24, 2022 April 10th, 2023 Building a Better Team

Last Updated on April 10, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck

Should you rehire an employee that has quit and wants to come back? There are certainly benefits to hiring a known quantity. However, while you may be tempted to avoid spending more time and resources on the hiring process, you should first be aware of the disadvantages of rehiring former employees. Here’s what you need to know.

Three managers consider rehiring a former employee

Can You Rehire a Terminated Employee?

If an employee has been terminated for just cause and wants to return, do not rehire them. It sends a terrible message to your current employees that bad behavior will be tolerated and even rewarded. However, if an 
employee resigns and wants to come back, there are a few situations in which rehiring them could be a good idea.

The employee is already familiar with the job and the company culture. You know what to expect from their performance and don’t need to worry about training someone new. It could also boost team morale for a well-liked top performer to return.

However, there are some serious disadvantages of rehiring former employees that you should consider before bringing this person back.

First, consider why the employee left. Did they find a higher-paying job, or were they no longer interested in their duties? If you want them to stay for the long term, you’ll have to invest in fixing whatever made them leave in the first place. Significant changes could prove costly, especially if they’re looking for a substantial bump in salary.

Another of the disadvantages of rehiring former employees is that depending on how much time has passed, your organization may have undergone changes that would impact the employee’s performance. For example, a former employee might not perform well with a new manager or a slightly different job description.

You should also be aware of any interpersonal issues that might arise 
if an employee leaves and then returns. For example, leaving can cause resentment among the employees left behind to pick up the slack. They may have even uncovered errors in that person’s work that had to be cleaned up. These tensions can boil over if the person is rehired.

Finally, one of the worst disadvantages of rehiring former employees is that they will likely leave again. A Harvard Business Review study found that “boomerang” employees were more likely to turn over than internal and external new hires. So no matter how much you want to avoid taking a risk on a new employee by hiring a known quantity, it might be inevitable.

Overall, every situation is different. Sometimes, it might be worth rehiring a solid performer who left on good terms. However, if you’re unsure, a new or internal hire will likely stay longer and improve their performance, making the upfront onboarding investment worthwhile.

Considering the many disadvantages of rehiring former employees, the best thing to do is retain your people so they don’t want to leave in the first place. In addition, a business coach can help you fine-tune your management skills to support your team best. Click on my get started page for a complimentary coaching session to discuss your leadership style.

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