As the economy begins to thrive again with the addition 120,000 jobs and the steadily declining unemployment rate in March, companies are expanding to accommodate the sizeable talent market.
Where is best talent being found? Recruiters often have agreed that internal referrals are the best source of quality hires – they offer the credibility needed, require less hiring expenses, and referred candidates often know the company’s culture and challenges much more directly than unknown candidates. However, Randall Birkwood, a senior HR director, challenged the assumption of how employee referrals remained to be the number one source of quality hires. He wrote of his “experiment,” that tested which sources of hire had employees “meet expectations” the most after one year.
According to his results, employee referrals are the third source of quality hires. Passive candidates are the second and the first are former employees.
Whether the validity of the experiment can be applied to other workplaces, rehiring former employees has its benefits. Former employees have same advantages of referred candidates, but unlike the latter, they have both the desire to stay and experience/training needed for the company.
As a result of the mass amounts of layoffs over the past few years, we could be seeing more of this trend. Besides choosing the right hire, there are other considerations to address when using this process.
Here are a few things to do when hiring former employees:
Research. You think you may know what you’ll be getting back, but you should do your due diligence as much as you would for an external candidate. This allows you to be more selective about your pool of former employee candidates – you want to get the best one back. You also may want to factor in other considerations, like if the candidate was in good standing when they left or were let go.
Set Expectations and Follow Up. Once hired, take the initiative to get the employee up to speed on what has been happening in the company since their departure. It’s expected that they will need time to catch up, however, having clear expectations and goals can enhance their performance in the new role. The employee may be reluctant to ask for help, so make sure to check in quarterly to see how they are adjusting.
Communicate to The Employees. Disseminate throughout the company the reasons why the rehire was made. Leaving current employees in the dark about rehires can lead to some bad blood if some were considered for the position. It also will show employees how the rehiring process values personnel with connections to the company.
What do you think? Do you think rehiring former employees is a good idea? How else can it be done successfully? Share your thoughts in the comments below.