An employee quits but now wants to come back: Should we rehire him? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

An employee quits but now wants to come back: Should we rehire him?

Get PDF file

by on
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: “We have a former employee who left our employ one week ago.  He has now called and stated that his leaving was a mistake, and he would like to come back to work for us.  Can you tell me what policies you have in place for this situation?  We are thinking about hiring him back.  What do we do about seniority, pay, vacation, health benefits, etc.?  Does he start at the beginning?  This is the first time this has happened to us and we don't have a policy in our handbook that covers it.  Any suggestions or laws that you may know of that would apply?” — Nancy


We have this happen all the time. Our policy is if the employee was in good standing at the time of their departure and gave 2 weeks notice we will hire them back if we have an opening. We will only do this once.

On senority etc. if the lapse in employment with us is 6 months or less, then they retain seniority, more then that and they start all over.

We just had the same issue, but we do have a policy that the employee has 2 weeks after their day of leave to return IF their position has not been filled. In regards of seniority...will still the same.

I think it should all depend on if the employee is worth hiring back. I work at a company that rehires even when they shouldn't. It just shows how hard it is now adays to find good people.

I'd really have to think about why the individual left in the first place. Did they leave thinking they'd found "greener pastures," and if so - what about the next week they read the help-wanted ads & find that next great thing? This person was only gone a week (according to your post). So - I guess it'd have to be considered in a case by case basis if we'd even hire the individual back under our employ. We have in very rare circumstances hired people back in this situation. When we do "re-hire" however, they have to sign a contract stating that their "seniority" will be reinstated after 6 months of continued satisfactory service. Until that time they are at the basically a "new hire" all over again. Also - any paid time off, vacation, etc., is treated the same as new hires until after the 6 month period. We've found it helps weed out those that are returning but still searching for that next best thing. Anyone that has been away from the company for 6 months or more start at the beginning again and will not have their seniority reinstated (unless it is negotiated as part of the re-hire package).

We do not have a policy, but if it was in my control, I would say that if (s)he gave 2 weeks notice and left on good standing, then it would be okay to hire them back, seeing as it was a mistake and we all make them. If the person didn't give their 2 weeks notice but still is an asset to the company, then hire them back, but do NOT retain seniority since they quit out of haste. This is a lesson to be learned. If they aren't an asset, the answer is simple: don't re-hire. Count your losses and start interviewing to fill the position. Let them know it's time to be an adult.

We have a policy in effect that requires the person to apply as a Rehire. That application goes through an approval process that includes the previous supervisor and director, the supervisor and director of the department of the applied for position, General Manager approval and HR input. If all approve the person is brought in for the interview process. They start all over with seniority, benefits, 90 day probation period and PTO accrual. Also, there is no guarantee they will be rehired. We find this procedure to be effective in determining any past performance issues and reflects the determination of the applicant to be rehired.

We have a policy in effect that requires the person to apply as a Rehire. That application goes through an approval process that includes the previous supervisor and director, the supervisor and director of the department of the applied for position, General Manager approval and HR input. If all approve the person is brought in for the interview process. They start all over with seniority, benefits, 90 day probation period and PTO accrual. Also, there is no guarantee they will be rehired. We find this procedure to be effective in determining any past performance issues and reflects the determination of the applicant to be rehired.

We have hired back former employees four times. Each time, all benefits and seniority sets back at zero. (They know this ahead of time and are okay with it; we think, as do employees who did not leave, that is unfair for them to maintain seniority rights and vacation benefits if they had left the company.) But usually it is a year or two later. As others have said, after only one week, I would wonder how quick it would be before they left again. I think it really should be decided on a case-by-case basis based on why that person left and how good of a worker they were.

It depends on why they left. Did they leave for a better job? Because then I would wonder if this would happen in the future. Also, did they leave because they no longer liked the workplace or had a policy issue? I would be hesitant to rehire because they may have a poor company attitude. We have only rehired employees who were relocating their home and then either returned or the plans fell through. One case it had been 2 years and he started at the beginning, for the most part, his pay was the same because he was still as qualified but his vacation etc. went back to as if he never worked here. The other employee went to Florida, hated it, return in 4 weeks. We hired her and did not make her start all over. We did have someone recently who didn't like a policy and walked off the job, he asked to come back, and we said no way. So my answer would depend on why they left.

Our policy is if an employee leaves in good standing (two week notice, no employee problem etc.) and would like to come back, that employee is a re-hire. Employees will not lose any seniority, longivity pay, sick or vacation accural as they come back within six months. If its longer than the six months a former employee is treated as other new employees.

We decide on a case by case basis and they come back as a new employee. I'm surprised by how many companies reinstate seniority.

My feeling is that if they've gone to the trouble to look elsewhere, sent their resumes out, interviewed and have done all that it takes to get a good job these days, they're probably not happy with the work, the pay, the benefits, the people they work with, etc.

I have rehired staff though, but I find that they usually don't stay for very long.

We do look at circumstances of their leaving, whether or not they were a good employee, attendance and things like that and thank goodness....I was rehired 10 years ago!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

D M October 31, 2017 at 1:10 pm

I currently work at a place that i was hired at a year and a half ago. I answered a help wanted post and got the job. The problem is, eight months into me working here, a former employee came sniffing around for his job back. I am the one that replaced him. It apparently didn’t work out for him where he left to and was unemployed for 2-3 months at this point. My boss let him come back, with me still here. So now there are 2 people doing the same job. At first, I tried to show him the ropes of the new changes. Then, within the first month, the other guy I was hired to replace started bullying and harassing me. It’s been going on for 11 months. I think I have put in a complaint just about every month. I actually end up in trouble I do. This past month, I’ve had some sexaul harrassment comments thrown my way. When I told my boss about the comments he says that a personal issue and he’s tired of hearing it. They like to fire on Wednesdays, and something tells me I will be fired tomorrow. I don’t know for sure though. I know about retaliation laws and complaints but I don’t know what to do anymore and there’s barely anything out there for my position.

Please help


Tina August 7, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Hi, I was working in a supermarket for one month and then I quit from there because it was very far from my home and I talked to my manager that she transfer me to the other Supermarket which is near to my home but she didn’t. After I quit, I went to that supermarket near to my home and I wanted them to rehire me, but the store manager said that I can rehire you but they put on the system that you didn’t give them two weeks notice and you gave them after they wrote the new schedule. . So I want to ask you that Is it depends on the store manager to rehire me? Or Is there any way he will able to do for me? Thank you


aubrey March 5, 2017 at 9:38 am

Regards we have an employee whom resigned and after 6 weeks was brought back to same position under short contract thou the position is still opened to be permanent and we looking for a batter skilled person than her. What do we do in this case


apk89 February 28, 2017 at 8:51 am

i was let go from my job. in summer of 2013 . now i have re apply back can they re- hire me even if there is a new boss in place.


anon December 21, 2016 at 6:42 am

Sometimes a person wants full-time hours and the opportunity isn’t there. Sometimes a person wants out of customer service, and the opportunity isn’t there. Why would a company call that a “bad attitude” for someone to leave for those reasons? Isn’t it the employee’s responsibility to take charge of his or her own career development?


bscstrive November 5, 2016 at 12:20 am

I just want to know why companies always believe the hiring managers and supervisors are always correct. Yes there are bad employees but why is leverage always focused on supervisors with friends in high places. Arrogant idiots good at politics/networking are always promoted. This is called leadership when they are actuality only the majority. Ask your best employees who a re not afraid of losing their job if this is someone they wouldn’t mind guiding them.


bscstrive November 4, 2016 at 11:35 pm

I think its horrible when incompetent people or bullies are in charge of people’s careers. I have seen entire departments leave due to management or supervisors and employees have to depend on these politics to make a living. Horrible. Most of the time they drive out good employees to save their friends.


naveen September 21, 2016 at 9:54 am


I have a simple question to be answered? If you can please answer it would be of much helpful? The question is?
If in case an employee has sent an resignation mail and given a notice period for two months. After a week or so if the company wants him to continue further, will the employee have the same benefits or he has to start all over because he has put the resignation mail (resignation mail not accepted from the company still).

Please answer for this question as this is very important.

Thank you



mattmac August 25, 2016 at 1:33 pm

if this is happening to your HR then your department must have lapses on approving his resignation.

before you accept and approve his resignation, you should have conducted an exit interview first, in this interview, you’ll understand more about his plan to his career or life.

You always have to consider that some people does thing that they think is right even if it is not. Especially that since they are still part of your company, the organization is still responsible to his being. Letting him go without assurance that he will be alright is same thing as telling your people that you do not care about their safety.

If you think his reason to live is acceptable, eg. he already got another job that can pay him higher compare to what you are paying him, he is migrating to other country, have to be full time on studying.

Accept his resignation and explain to him the consequences of his resignation such as what’s indicated in your company policy about “no rehiring” what he has to pay, if he will not get any compensation, etc. and all things that you have explained must be documented and be signed by the person who did the exit interview and the resigning employee.

In case that the employee’s decision is influenced by an individual or situation in the company, ask him to think about it again and tell him what he and the organization can do to help him out of the issue. Remember that HR department is responsible on screening people that is matched to what the job and organization requires, whichever is important, you hired him because you saw something in him and as he signed a contract to your company, the employee and the organization are responsible to each other. In case that an employee really insist to leave despite of your effort to encourage him to stay, tell him the consequences and like what i said before ask him to sign a document that says he understand what the consequences are.

About your problem,

Rehiring is indeed a critical part of company expenses, payrolls and benefits, so you must consult the top management regarding rehiring, if top management find the employee disloyal or dishonest to the company, then most probably they will not accept him anymore. But in case they allowed, they should also be the one to decide what the employee shall receive upon his deployment.

remember that you are doing the rehiring process to make sure that the good(whatever your standard of goodness is) employee of your company is in a well situation until the period that you can consider him independent from your company ex. 2 months, weeks etc.

And in case 2 that the employee decided to stay in the company and attempt to resign again for the same reason, please check your action plan on helping him if they are performed. if not, then your department is doing something wrong again.

-make an exit interview
-include a rehiring policy
-top management shall decide of rehiring
(top management can actually ask for consultant to make a scheme on how they can tell if the person is acceptable to rehire, example is through his past work evaluation, appraisal score, etc.)
-top management shall decide about his salary and benefits
(again, top management can also ask to consultant to make a scheme because they can suggest to compute the production lost that the person has made to company and give him a basic pay, etc.)
-include expiration to rehiring ex. 1 month , 3 week etc. from the date of resignation letter.


Alice March 15, 2016 at 11:23 am

please please Lori hire me back I left to go to Fiji because it was more money and they shafted me and it didn’t work out I was just trying to better myself please please let me come back I don’t have a job I’ll never do this again I swear please let me come back Lori please please please 727-657-7466 you know I’ll turn the numbers that I’m always the first one there in the morning and I’ll crank it out like I always do and I’ll never leave again please


Lori FTW April 21, 2016 at 1:27 pm



BossMan November 1, 2015 at 6:21 pm

It depends on a case by case basis, and how good they were and how desperate we were at the time.

If a problematic employee leaves, then we would not normally give them their job back, but we might, depending on our situation. Now if they quit on the spot then we would not offer them their job back regardless of our situation.

Typically I allow all employees 3-4 days to think about the decision and to keep it secret. Once somebody publicly quits things change.

The issue we have is that it radiates a bad impression to the other employees that they can do the same, we’d quickly end up with a thunderstorm of people leaving and trying to come back on their terms, believing they are indispensable.

Once they leave, they leave!

In our instances, all re-hired staff always ends up leaving again, but you seam to get 6 – 9 months out of them before they do, and you don’t have to re-train them, so it works both ways.

I am in a situation now where 2 former employees have come back to ask for jobs , we won’t hire them because we’re over-staffed and secondly they both left without notice, so would likely do it again.

Funnily enough I am expecting a third one to come back too, but again, she won’t be able to return.

I hope this answer your question.


Jay December 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm

If the person gave proper notice and was in good standing with the company before and at the time of departure; I might consider hiring them back. We all want something more and if its not there, that is a lesson learned and the employee should be more loyal and devoted know aware of what is on the other side of the office door.

However, that being said we have an employee that quit his position, then later quit his job because he did not like the changes that happened in the company. He went around blaming team members for his failure and now, after almost 6 months, the company has hired him back. Many of the team and staff are livid but the hiring bodies don’t seem to care about the destruction they have set in motion.


Does November 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm

a staff would want to leave with a higher salary from another company. We matched that, and he promosed to stay with us. However, the another company tried to offer even higher salary after two months. He quitted. After not 4 month in the new company he wanted to come back. Which salary should we offer?


Clay Bratton March 19, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I worked at a local Verizon store near my house.. I made good money in commission while I was there but did not receive benefits (PTO, insurance, 401k, etc.). I applied at Sprint, and they offered me a job with benefits on the 31st day. I walked into work (Verizon) and told the manager that I was leaving; she asked me if I would work a notice, so I did. I ended up working a 3 weeks notice, (on my days off at Sprint, which was risky because I could have jeopardized my new job. I did it to stay on good terms in case the new job did not work out.

Now I ended up not liking the new job, so I got in touch with my former manager, and she arranged for me to speak with the DM. I spoke with him and was under the impression that I was going to be hired back, after being unemployed for 3 months now, I am fighting hard to get my job back. I would like some recommendations and advice as to what I should do. And also the policies about rehire eligibility.


Des October 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm

A mistake? I’d be interested in knowing what kind of mistake a person could make to give notice and leave a job. I’d really have to think about that one. If a person left under a misunderstanding and it was corrected and the person wanted to come back that’s different. So, in either event, if the person was in good standing, gave the appropriate notice I’d attempt to hire he/she back. However, because of the organization I work for, they would have to reapply, be interviewed just like everyone else. And, if it’s under a year their seniority would still be in tact.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: