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February 23, 2016

87 Per Cent of HR Managers Would Rehire a Former Employee; Only 30 Per Cent Would Come Back.

Toronto, ON. – The majority (87 per cent) of human resource (HR) managers interviewed said they would roll out the welcome mat for a returning employee who left on good terms, according to a survey from staffing firm Accountemps. But not all workers would feel comfortable returning. In fact, 70 per cent of professionals polled said it’s unlikely they would apply for a job with a former employer. 

“Former employees are already familiar with the work culture, expectations, and training requirements of the organization, which means less ramp-up time and fewer surprises,” said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. “Organizations should keep this in mind when an employee is leaving and make an effort to ensure that exit interviews are productive and civil, leaving the door open for great employees to return down the road.”

HR managers were asked, “How likely is it that you would consider rehiring a former employee who left your company on good terms?” Their responses:

Very likely

30%

Somewhat likely

57%

Somewhat unlikely

8%

Very unlikely

1%

Don’t know

5%

Total

101%*

*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

Workers were asked, “How likely is it that you would ever apply for a job at a previous employer?” Their responses:

Very likely

10%

Somewhat likely

20%

Somewhat unlikely

27%

Very unlikely

43%

Total

100%

Workers who were unlikely to return were also asked, “What is the primary reason you wouldn’t apply for a job at a previous employer?” Their responses:

I didn’t like my job duties

21%

I didn’t like the corporate culture

20%

I didn’t like management

15%

I burned bridges when I left

8%

The company burned bridges when I left

7%

I didn’t receive the tools or training to do my job effectively

2%

Other

27%

Total

100%

“Before rehiring a previous employee, it is important to consider why they left initially,” added Hunnam-Jones. “While a worker who left to pursue professional development opportunities might be coming back with more to offer in skills and experience, an employee who left feeling dissatisfied may return similarly unmotivated. Hiring managers need to ensure that employees are coming back for the right reasons, and are enthusiastic about once again being part of the organization.”

Accountemps offers the following tips to companies that want to leave the door open for departing employees:

  1. Conduct exit interviews. Get feedback from employees who resign and act on the information if it improves the work environment.
  2. Part ways professionally. Avoid isolating those who’ve given notice. If they are leaving on good terms, treat them as members of the team until they walk out the door for the last time.
  3. Communicate intentions. If you think you’d like to rehire exiting employees, let them know they’d be welcomed back. Sometimes the grass isn’t greener somewhere else, and they might jump at the chance to return.
  4. Stay in touch. Keep in contact with former employees who were top performers. You never know when their situation might change and they’ll be in the market for a new job.
  5. Consider boomerangs for different roles. If they’ve gained new skills and experience, they may be better suited for other positions or departments. 

About the Research
The surveys were conducted by an independent research firm. They include responses from more than 300 HR managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees and more than 400 Canadian workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 340 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services, can be found at accountemps.ca. Follow the Accountemps blog and @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]