4 Reasons to Consider Rehiring Former Employees

October 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara

Screen_Shot_2013-12-17_at_9.29.31_PMIf you’ve hit recruiter’s block and are near exhausting your resources for sourcing new hires, you may want to reconsider some old pipe matter – previous employees. 

While it may not have worked out between you and them at one point, finding your next great hire could mean onboarding a great hire again.  

Recruiting and rehiring former employees is one way to offset the time and costs of sourcing and making brand new replacement hires. 

Googling “second chances quotes,” I found that none of them referred to rehiring former employees. With that said, here’s one: Give former employees a second chance – they’re cost-effective, save time on hiring, and can add diversity to your team. (Waxing too poetic maybe?)

Here’s why. 

They’re familiar with the company culture and won’t require much retraining. 

Feeling comfortable and getting to know colleagues is half of the battle of the onboarding process. Rehiring past employees cuts down on the time it takes for training them on company procedures and getting them caught up with the daily workings of their department. This also allows team members to get a hold of more employees who may be qualified for your open positions. Talk to the team and figure out what they're looking for in a new role. 

Related: 6 Tips for Interviewing and Hiring Former Employees

Former employees have more experience and skills to bring back to the company. 

Hiring for diversity shouldn’t be limited to parameters of ethnicity, gender, or disability. Another way to expand your talent funnel is to loop your recruiting back to former employees who’ve spent time at other companies and maybe in another space. Adding new perspectives and other skills benefits the team’s overall performance by boosting communication with a diverse customer base, generating more ideas and improving the bottom line. Former employees who’ve time under their belt spent working for another organization that isn’t yours can train other team members in a wider variety of new skills.  

Ben Martinez, HireVue's VP of Human Resources, suggests recruiters to consider these questions:

  • Does the former employee have a network and a skill set that is unique for your company?
  • What have they learned since they left your company?
  • Based on what you know about them would you hire them again?
"Having an organization wide rule to not rehire people limits you from great people who want to work at your company again," he said. "A lot of tribal knowledge exists within the alumni of companies. Take advantage of that tribal knowledge if it will help your company."

Hiring a former team member can improve employee morale. 

While the employee may have left the team at one point, bringing him or her back on the team can communicate the company is proactively hiring qualified talent, and looking to all types of sources to find a good fit for the role. It can also help strengthen the company by reuniting a team who once worked well together. 

Retention rates among boomerang employees are much higher.

According to a study by Brad Harris, University of Illinois professor of labor and employment relations, former employees are more likely to stay with a company that rehires them. Having experienced a new work environment and realizing they’re much happier at your company, employees are willing to give their homebase a second try – all the reason to ensure recruiters and hiring managers have favorable exit interviews with employees who are quitting. This can also boost the chances your employees refer the company to their colleagues who may be qualified for other open opportunities. 

Has your company hired former employees? What tips do you have to share about onboarding an old team member? Share them with us in the comments or tweet us @Entelo and don't forget to save your seat for our upcoming webinar on building your employer brand!