There are many reasons why an employee may quit their job. They may be seeking a career change, more money or something else. However, on rare occasions, that very same employee may come back to you, asking for their job back. Do you give it to them? What are the pros and cons of rehiring an employee who quit?
Exit interviews give employees who quit an opportunity to freely express their opinions about their job. They can tell you things like how the working conditions affected their job performance, what the office morale is really like, and the specific reasons why they decided to quit the job.
When you implement an exit interview protocol, you lay a foundation that is better able to handle a situation where a quitter asks for their job back. With the notes from the exit interview, you can better assess what led to the quitting and whether those reasons are liable to become an issue again.
Re-hiring an employee who quit isn’t just to their benefit. If the employee was a good one, it can be to your advantage to welcome a quitter back into the fold. Carefully consider their work history. If they demonstrated loyalty, a command of their responsibilities, and a willingness to follow instructions, you might be well advised to re-hire them. After all, finding, hiring and training a new job candidate is a costly endeavor.
By the time you do all that, your quitter could be back at work, performing the job functions you need to keep your company profitable.
If the quitter left for valid reasons, it’s worth thinking about hiring them back again. Perhaps the reasons were personal. They needed more time to spend with a sick relative, or their spouse was offered a job in another city, or they were experiencing a personal loss and needed time to recover. These are all valid reasons for quitting a job. If the reasons were legitimate and had nothing to do with being hasty or immature, then you should consider hiring them back.
The bottom line is, people make mistakes in life and in their careers. If you can find a way to hire back a quitter who deserves a second chance, it shows a lot about your organization and your willingness to be flexible. Remember to frame your decision as being understanding and compassionate as well as fair, as long as the quitter is deserving of a second chance to prove themselves. Whether you give them their seniority or their benefits right away is a policy decision that only you and your company can make. But be sure to give careful consideration to an employee who asks for their job back. Remember, it can’t have been easy for them to ask, just as it isn’t easy for you to decide.