It s no longer out of the question for employees to return to a previous employer and be welcomed with open arms. Employers these days are keener than ever to re-employ staff who have previously left the business.
What are the reasons behind this recent phenomenon and what are the risks for employers?
Twenty to thirty years ago a job was for life. When an employee left an employer there was often the underlying thought that the employee's commitment to the organisation had gone. The concern was that even if the employer did take the employee back at some point in the future, they would not stay with them for long, or be as efficient, because they no longer had that same degree of loyalty to the firm.
Nowadays it is common practice for employees to frequently move jobs and change careers and the concept of a job for life has faded into the background. The demographic shift in the age of the population and a reduced skills base in certain areas of recruitment have also led to employers realistically considering recruiting employees for the 'second time around'.
Katherine Wiid, Director of Talent Management Specialist Recrion, spoke to the HR Director of a global service provider who was pragmatic about it. We operate in a niche and a highly competitive industry and do everything we can to retain our top performers. We tell our leaving employees that if they wish to return within an 18 month period, we will regard that as continuous service .
In some employment sectors today up to 50% of staff return to work for their old employer at some point, which just goes to show that re-employment is often a successful recruitment practice. Recrion advises clients on how to adopt best practice by ensuring that returners go through a selection process so that you get a proper chance to assess their abilities and skills rather than relying on past performance.