Re-Hiring Ex-Employees?



   Back then, it seemed like the perfect opportunity, the perfect job offer. This job was what you always needed to fulfil your dream of being what you aspired to be. You quit your present job and jumped at the opportunity of moving into a new arena. But then, you realise that this new job is nothing like what you had imagined. You are stuck! And your previous job and organisation now seem like heaven. What do you do now? Stick around and hope for something good to happen since there is no probability of going back on the road you had left much behind? Hang on and don’t lose hope since many organisations today are adopting the policy of rehiring ex-employees. Conventionally, re-hiring was an unacceptable practice. But these days, organisations are open to taking back those employees who had quit their jobs in order to move towards greener pastures.

“We believe ‘second innings’ is a good thing for both the organisation and the employee because both know what to expect out of each other,” says B Ramaswamy, Head, Human Capital, Feedback Ventures which has started a
‘re-hiring’ policy. “We, too, welcome and hire exemployees and have broad guidelines. An employee wants to come back because the previous organisation is always a known territory and has a certain comfort level associated with it,” says Chandan Chattaraj, Executive Director, HR, Xerox India Limited. Amitabh Das Mundhra, Director, Simplex Infrastructures Limited puts forth his view, “Re-hiring is not a bad policy and in our organisation, we welcome our ex-employees, if they are willing to work with us again. Such employees leave because either they are dissatisfied with the current job profile or they feel the need to explore other career growth prospects. But then, at some point of time, they choose to come back.”

Recruitment experts identify such employees as, ‘boomerangs’ and they also confirm that this phenomenon is a smart recruitment strategy. “The organisation encourages ex-employees who had voluntarily left to rejoin another organisation and not those who had been terminated. Mostly, the employees who seek to return are those who had left some windows open for the company to observe them in their role outside. The selection process for the ex-employee will be the same as for any new recruit,” informs Ramaswamy. So what does a ‘boomerang’ bring into the organisation? “Often re-hires have gained in experience, wisdom and maturity and are equipped with better abilities to perform and be more productive at work than before,” says Ramaswamy. Chattaraj claims, “Re-hiring helps the organisation cut down training costs, brings down the productivity lost due to time taken by a new hire to start producing results, enhances employer branding, ensures better fit – clarity on both sides – employer as well as employee and brings diverse experience to the organisation.”

We cannot deny the fact that re-hiring is an intelligent practice and many organisations have opened their doors to ex-employees in the recent times. But then what is the
guarantee that the employee will not repeat the same mistake and quit? According to Ramaswamy, “When we re-hire an old employee, the ‘second innings’ is definitely likely to be longer, hopefully till ‘retirement do us part’! Usually the organisation and the re-hired employees communicate with each other more openly than earlier.” For Chattaraj, “A re-hire already knows an organisation; therefore, there aren’t any culture shocks involved. An exemployee has already ventured in the job market and worked in other organisations. In case he/she is ready to rejoin an organisation, it clearly means that he/she rates the organisation better than other organisation and chances of quitting again are low.” Mundhra adds, “A habitual quitter can always be identified. Organisations need to find out whether the reason for quitting in the first instance was a genuine reason or not.”
   The booming trend of hiring ‘boomerangs’ is sure to catch on. This only proves that not always are the doors of destiny shut forever and there is always a second chance!


One response to “Re-Hiring Ex-Employees?

  1. Also companies can make the re-hiring drive an event to cherish for the ex-employees by floating an advertisement on newspapers. Recently BHEL did call for its ‘estranged family members/brethern to come and rejoin them’. Of course conditions did apply like only those ex-employees who quit between and so on. But the message comes across that the organization views this as an emotional reunion. With some organizations, it all begins with an email sent out by the HR Head to all the key employees lost in last 2 years.

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