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To Rehire Or Not To Rehire

9.13.10

Over the last two years, many companies have faced periods of uncertainty and decreased profits. In order to keep the doors open and the lights on during this time, most companies have instituted cost-cutting measures. In addition to cutting benefits and perks, many companies have been forced to engage in hiring freezes, layoffs and even closures.

Thankfully, businesses are beginning to recover. Orders and revenues are generally increasing in many industries, and companies are looking at lifting hiring freezes and expanding their work forces. While this is a good problem for many companies to face, it raises the age-old question: to rehire or not to rehire? Certainly, there are many advantages to bringing prior employees back into the fold. These employees know the system and procedures for the workplace and therefore need less training to get up to speed, and managers and supervisors are already familiar with their strengths and weaknesses.

There are, however, some drawbacks with rehiring former employees after a staff reduction. While some quality employees may have been laid off as part of cost-cutting measures, some less desirable employees were likely laid off as well. Rather than facing the possible legal challenges that can come with selective rehires, and to avoid being forced to take the bad employees with the good, some employers choose to take their chances by hiring new employees. With these considerations in mind, employers should explore some of the common concerns and pitfalls of conducting layoffs and in rehiring employees after a period of layoffs.

This article appeared in the September 13, 2010 issue of Smart Supervision.

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