Posts Tagged ‘Employees’

Should You Re-Hire a Laid-Off Employee?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

employeescreeningblogProductivity in the U.S. is down, and rumor has it that employees are maxed out. If you’ve trimmed some staff members and squeezed out all you can from your remaining employees, it’s time to assess your productivity. Perhaps it’s time to consider hiring again.

Re-hiring a Laid-off Employee
When they’re ready to hire for a newly-open position, many business owners and managers naturally think about the last person who held it. In many cases, that person didn’t leave the company, but was laid off. Before you pick up the phone to recall a laid-off employee, consider these tips.

Often, it makes sense to bring a laid-off employee back into the fold. After all, if Susan did the job for years, she won’t require any training. She’s already in tune with the company’s culture, so there’s no bringing her up to speed on dos and don’ts. She knows the policies and procedures as well as you do. It’s usually much easier to rehire a former employee than recruit, hire and train a new one.

But first, consider the reasons behind the layoff. If George was an exemplary worker and budget is the only reason he’s gone, then he could be your only choice for the position. If that’s the case, call George as soon as you can—before another company hires him.

Why Hiring Laid-Off Employees is not Always a Good Idea
Chances are your company and its needs have changed during the recession. Perhaps your remaining crew has turned into a lean, mean, production machine—and that ex-employee won’t fit in. It can be difficult for inflexible people to fit into a changed environment.

There’s a reason George was laid off instead of Tom. Before you hire him back, assess the situation around the layoff choice. It could lead to insight about George’s past and future performance. Was his work up to speed? Did he create bad feelings when he left?

Laid-off employees can change, too. A formerly dedicated worker could develop a negative attitude toward a company he’s been seeing as the enemy for months or years. Consider requiring the former staff person to go through the same application process and interview as a brand-new employee. This gives everyone an opportunity to look objectively at needs, skills, and attitudes. If there are any signs of a grudge, ask open-ended questions to get to the bottom of it.

Don’t Forget Employee Screening
It pays to be just as cautious when re-hiring an ex-employee as when hiring a stranger. Anything can happen between layoff and rehire time. Don’t expose your company and other employees to the risks of hiring anyone—even a former employee—without a thorough pre-employment background check.