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Finding completely new staff members can be a long, arduous process. This is especially true if you’re trying to fill multiple positions at once, or if your staffing shortage wasn’t expected. But sometimes, the best employees are the ones you’ve hired before. Rehiring former employees can be an easier way to bolster your workforce. 

Previous employees may be interested in returning to the company for a new position or salary. They may also have simply reconsidered their reasons for leaving. Some employees may also be returning after layoffs, which were particularly common during the COVID-19 pandemic. With increased demand for employees, rehiring can be the easiest route to fast recruitment. But is it always the best option? Here’s what you need to know. 

The Benefits of Rehiring Former Employees

Rehiring Allows You to Streamline Onboarding (and Save Money)

While any new hire, including a rehire, requires onboarding, it’s easier to onboard someone who’s been through the process once. Faster onboarding saves you time. The faster someone can get through the onboarding process, the faster they can start their work. Faster onboarding has financial benefits as well. In fact, it can take $30,000-$45,000 to replace an employee earning $60,000. Mitigating those costs has real value. 

Hire Someone Whose Strengths and Weaknesses You Already Know

No matter how many interviews you have, it takes time to know someone fully. Since a rehire is already known to you, you can play to their strengths and weaknesses immediately. They will also enter with a baseline of knowledge about your industry, even if things have changed since they left. A rehire is also familiar with company culture, and can quickly reconnect with their old team or a new one. 

Rehires Have Recommitted to the Company 

When a former employee asks for their position back, they are making a conscious choice to return to your company. They’ve worked elsewhere or taken time off and still chosen to return. This means, they value what’s unique about your company. When employees choose to come back, it can also boost the reputation of your company as a good place to work. As an added bonus, they may also bring new skills and ideas from their time away. 

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The Challenges of Rehiring 

The Employee May Leave Again

Unfortunately, an employee who’s left before may feel comfortable leaving again. This is especially true if their reasons for leaving the company haven’t been addressed. Rehires are just as prone to turnover as any employee. Communication, inclusivity, and competitive pay can all prevent former employees from leaving again. 

There May be Old Wounds 

It’s important to consider why your employee left in the first place. They may have had friction with management or their coworkers so there could be lingering resentment.  They may also have returned with the expectation of change. Are these changes something that you can reasonably implement? If not, the resentment may build. 

There May be a Readjustment Period 

It’s likely that your company has changed since the employee was last there. If they’re coming back after a long time away, these changes may be significant. A readjustment period may be necessary, and this could extend what is usually a fast onboarding. The employee may have become used to new practices at another workplace that they have to unlearn. Or, understandably, they may have simply forgotten some things in the time that they were away. 

Rehiring Best Practices 

Create a Rehiring Policy

Rehiring former employees can mean a lot of negotiation. Creating a strong company policy about rehiring can eliminate confusion. A rehiring policy can explore a multitude of factors. For example, it can delineate who is eligible for rehiring and if they’ll be officially onboarded as a new employee. It can also outline whether benefits like PTO can roll over from the last time the rehire was an employee. 

Consider Their Reasons For Leaving

Before you rehire someone, it’s crucial to consider why they left. Was it a friendly goodbye? Was there tension? If the latter, has the source of that tension been resolved? Your team may also feel a specific way about that person. They may be thrilled to have them return to the team, or there may be awkwardness. Consider speaking to their former coworkers or looking at past performance reviews, especially if you were not their original hiring manager or supervisor. 

Communicate Extensively When Rehiring Former Employees 

Communication is always key, but is especially important when rehiring former employees. Your employee is coming back for a reason, but they probably also left for a reason. It’s important to re-discuss salary, position, benefits, and responsibilities. Make sure everyone is on the same page before you make the offer. While it can be tempting to skip the interview process, re-interviewing can help clarify their motivations for leaving the first time. It can also help you learn more about what changes, if any, they’d like to see now that they’re back. 

Rehiring former employees is even easier with a streamlined hiring and onboarding process. Interested in learning more about how you can recruit, hire, and onboard healthcare staff quickly? Contact us today for a free demo of our software solution.

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