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When to Rehire Workers

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources

After waves of downsizing in recent years, many companies are now reversing course and filling job openings like mad. If you’re ramping up your recruiting, you may wonder whether to rehire former employees.

While some groups refuse to welcome back those who have quit, it makes little sense to establish a blanket no-rehiring rule. Instead, assess your needs on a case-by-case basis. Here are some questions to help you decide how to proceed:

Is there a precedent? Consider your current employees, especially your rising superstars. How many of them are rehires? If your company already has a successful track record of bringing back talented employees, then that’s a good reason to rehire others. As they reacquaint themselves with your operation, they’ll see that their predecessors have restarted their careers or advanced more rapidly upon their return.

How about loyalty? If you rehire out of desperation, you may lose the person yet again. Evaluate whether the candidate really intends to stay put this time.

Is disability a factor? If a disabled worker reapplies to your firm, you have more leeway to ask disability-related questions if you already knew of his condition. Just make sure you limit your focus to issues relating directly to job requirements, or you may face a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Is the candidate a union member? If union employees reapply with your company, check your collective bargaining agreement. Your contract may require you to rehire union workers automatically for a certain length of time. Normally, you don’t have to rehire striking union workers once their old jobs are filled, even if the strikers are qualified for other open slots.

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