Who can fill a position better than someone who has already worked it? Rehiring may solve your hiring issues if you want to streamline the process and save money. It comes with great risks and rewards, so you must consider the pros and cons before deciding.
Pros of Rehiring Former Employees
There were 9.9 million job openings in the United States as of February 2023. The hiring process takes a long time, and you must put even more into training — unless you choose to rehire. It’s efficient, cost-effective and gives your company a significant advantage in a competitive labor market.
1. They’re Familiar With the Work
Training takes a lot of time and resources, so it’s fantastic when you can skip it entirely. Rehires are already familiar with their former job and company, so it streamlines getting them into their role. They’ll be productive earlier, and you’ll see the outcome of their work sooner than you would with someone else.
2. You Know Their Old Salary
Knowing their old salary and benefits is beneficial since you can base your new estimates on that information. You don’t have such luxury in interviews with new hires because you can’t confirm their claims, but you know what to expect with a rehire. It’s cheaper for your company because your new offer accurately reflects the skill you’re getting.
3. Interviewing Is Cheaper
A rehire takes less time to interview, which saves your company money. You can skip formalities and lengthy meetings because you already have their performance metrics from their previous role. Compare their current skills and references to your data to streamline the process.
4. You Know How to Make Them Stay
You have a significant advantage when interviewing returning employees because you know exactly what it’ll take for them to work for you again. For example, you would offer more vacation days in their new contract if they left because they wanted more time off.
Offering them what they originally wanted as a rehire might seem counterproductive, but it’s actually very beneficial to the company. Around 39% of employees say they’ll work harder if they’re happier. The statistic is backed up with proof, considering they work 19% more accurately when content with their roles.
5. It’s Cost-Effective
Hiring past employees is incredibly cost-effective. Even though it may technically cost more to hire them, less time spent on training saves your company money. You could save up to $20,000 on every rehire because it’s hands-off, and they’re already prepared for a specific role.
6. They Have More Experience
After a former employee leaves your company, they move on to different jobs in the industry. This is beneficial when they approach you to be rehired because they now have additional experience. Often, they pick up unique skills from competitor businesses that you can take advantage of in their new roles.
Cons of Rehiring Former Employees
There are many positives to hiring a past worker, but you must consider an equal amount of negatives. You risk the same old workplace issues — and new ones — when you hire them.
1. They’ll Have Higher Salary Expectations
Most employees return with extra experience and skill, so you might have to pay them more if you want them to come back to work for you. Plus, most cite low pay as one of the top three reasons they leave. They’re interviewing with you because they want to return, but you’ll likely have to increase their salary or benefits to incentivize them to stay long-term.
2. They’ll Feel Untouchable
You might experience issues with the behavior of a rehire if you give in to their demands for higher salaries or better benefits. They’re willing to walk away if they don’t get what they want, so they’ll feel untouchable during interviews or in the workplace. It manifests as them ignoring orders or testing your limits.
3. Team Integration Is Challenging
Employees working with someone they don’t like adds tension to the workplace. Even if everyone gets along at your company, it might be challenging to integrate them back into the team because of the change in the dynamic.
4. There May Be Bias in Interviewing
You may be biased during the hiring process since you already know and have an opinion about the former employee. Whether this is positive or negative, it may cloud your judgment. For example, you could overlook other hires in favor of the rehire or ignore them even if they’re qualified because you don’t like them. Bias can prevent you from finding the best candidate for the position.
5. They Might Leave Again
When rehiring, one of the most considerable risks you take is the chance they’ll leave. They did so once, so they’ll feel fine about doing it a second time. It can be incredibly challenging to meet the expectations of rehires because they return wanting change — and that isn’t always possible. It’s cost-effective for companies to rehire, but not if they immediately have to fill the role again.
Evaluate Rehires Properly
Consider the pros and cons of rehiring before deciding to get the most out of it. You’ll need to fix whatever caused workers to leave if you want them to stay in their roles. It’s also essential to determine why they’re interviewing for their former company instead of looking elsewhere.
Did they run out of options in a small industry, or do they genuinely prefer your company? It depends on how much time has passed since they left, but their reason for returning is just as important as their reason for leaving.
Reach Out to Potential Rehires
There are many advantages to hiring former employees, so it’s in your best interest to establish a good relationship with them when they leave for more beneficial negotiations in the future. Hiring a new candidate is 200% more expensive than rehiring, so consider contacting them once they’re gone.
An exit interview establishes their feelings about the company and what it’ll take for them to return, so start with that. It’s also wise to reach out once or twice a year to offer incentives for them to return. Most importantly, stay receptive to their feedback and open to future interviews. A solid return strategy and positive attitude save your company money and time.
Consider Why You’re Rehiring
There are many reasons to hire a former employee, but it depends on their previous work and their relationship with your company. It can be an extremely cost-effective move, but you must still consider why you’re hiring and compare that to the advantages of rehiring.
Zac Amos is the Features Editor at ReHack, where he covers business technology, cybersecurity, and other trending tech topics. For more of his work, follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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