First Person: Rehiring an Employee

Yahoo Contributor Network

I've been on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to rehiring, having both rehired and been rehired. This means that I have two differing perspectives on the situation but have made some connections between things that I would consider when rehiring an employee.

Going back to a previous employer can be a somewhat strange situation, as can rehiring a previous employee. And determining whether a rehire situation is right for all parties involved can take some careful consideration.

The Departure

How an employee leaves an employer can make a big difference in whether he or she is looked upon favorably when it comes to being rehired. For example, when I left the employer with which I was rehired, I did my best to do everything by the book, giving ample notice, thanking those personally who hired and trained me, and generally leaving things as organized, and the department as well prepared for my departure as possible.

Why the Departure in the First Place?

But the circumstances regarding an employee's departure might also have to be considered in a rehire situation. Asking whether or not the employee had a valid reason for leaving can help clarify if a rehire situation is a feasible or reasonable possibility.

Personally, I left my particular employer for several reasons. First off, my future wife at the time had received a great job offer in another state. Secondly, I had found a job opportunity within that state. And third, that job opportunity was not only a career and salary advancement, but it was within the same company for which I already worked. Therefore, I had multiple acceptable reasons for moving on, both personal and business/career related. Had it been that I was tired of the work or hated the location or employer, it might have been a different story, since why would an employer want to rehire me if I was just going to tire of the job again or leave after a short duration since I couldn't stand being there?

What Has Changed?

An employee who has been away at another job for a while could be a good thing or a bad thing. In my particular situation, I found that on the positive side, things like knowing the layout and structure of the organization, already having some familiarity with the computer systems, and knowing some of the employees and the organizational culture were definite positives. On the other hand, while it was a chain of the same organization with which I had been working, certain policies had changed while I was away and things were done differently from what I experienced with the other work location.

Therefore, while an employee could gain certain job or management skills while away working another job, he or she might also miss out on changes -- both in company policy and the staffing or management situation -- within the organization that could make it difficult for them to transition as a rehire.


When it comes to training and a potential rehire there can again be both positives and negatives. On the positive side, a previous employee could already have knowledge of company systems that would make it easier for them to reintegrate. They might also already have connections with other employees that could make it easier to reintegrate with the staff and pick up new aspects of the work or their particular role that might take an outside hire longer.

On the negative side, a potential rehire might carry with them a few bad habits from the old days or if nothing else, lapse back into the way "it used to be done", making comparisons between old and new policy that are no longer relevant. The rehire may also have even picked up a few bad work habits while away. And while they might have previous experience upon which to rely, a rehire might not have as much current experience as say an internal applicant who has already been exposed to or working with the current operations and systems on a regular basis.

Therefore, while a rehire could be the perfect way to get a great employee back, it can certainly be worthwhile to consider more than just past performance when making the decision as to whether to bring him or her back onboard with the company.

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The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.


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