No employer would intentionally re-hire someone who was fired for cause. But, in the aftermath of the recessionary days, many employers are open to re-hiring old workers whom they let go for reasons other than performance issues. In fact, re-hiring of former workers has been identified as a key recruitment and workforce strategy of many large companies. These individuals have already demonstrated their skills, work ethic and knowledge of the company. They can “hit the ground running”. But of course, if helps to be aware of the possible pitfalls arising out of this strategy, before embracing it.
Any plan to re-hire former employees will need to take the following challenges and risks into consideration:
Performance-related issues: While most companiesdo not rehire individuals dismissed for performance reasons, there may be extenuating situations that justify an exception. For example, employees whose performance related issues and policy violations (like applying too much leave) were the result of a personal situation which was beyond their control may be re-hired. In these cases, a formal review process should be in place that places the decision with human resources, a hiring manager, and the hiring manager’s supervisor. In these situations, companies must walk a fine line, verifying that the original issue leading to dismissal has been resolved without violating the privacy rights of the individual. Companies must also consider the level of disruption previously caused by the dismissed worker, and the potential disruption to operations that may result from any reluctance on the part of the existing employers to work with the individual.
Clearly, there are benefits to rehiring former employees. These individuals can offer rapid productivity, cultural fit, savings in the cost and time spent on training, and more. In most situations, these benefits far outweigh the concerns and risks associated with such a strategy. However, it is important to recognize the legal and practical implications; so that effective policies and business practices are put in place.
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