Employees are terminated from employment for many reasons, but the cause of their departure often dictates their eligibility for rehire. You may consider rehiring a former employee ahead of hiring a new person because generally rehires require less training. Additionally, before rehiring a former employee, you can examine personnel records and ask former supervisors about the person's level of job performance. You can often make a more informed decision about hiring a terminated employee than you can when hiring someone new.
Locate the human resources file on the terminated employee who wishes to return to the company. Look in the file for the termination notice that details the reason for the employee's termination. Most companies as a policy do not rehire employees who were terminated for misconduct. If you cannot find a copy of the termination notice, ask the individual's former supervisor and the HR department about the reason for termination. If the employee was fired for misconduct or a violation of the terms of employment, you cannot rehire the person unless company policies have changed. If the employee was laid off due to business reasons, you can proceed.
Review the former employee's work history. Examine annual reviews and other performance data maintained in the personnel file. Speak with the employee's former supervisor to determine whether the person performed well during the previous term of employment. You do not want to rehire someone who performed below the job's expectations.
Compare the candidate's salary demands with company guidelines for the open position. You may consider paying the former employee an above-average salary if you feel the person's previous experience warrants it and the reduced training costs will offset the salary amount.
Review the severance package paid to the employee. If the employee received severance for an amount that exceeds the gap in employment, your company may require the person to repay some of the severance upon rehiring. Calculate how much time has elapsed since the person left the company, and determine whether the employee can regain seniority in terms of vacation, sick days and retirement entitlements by rejoining the company. Costs involved in these entitlements may greatly increase the overall costs of hiring a terminated employee as opposed to a new employee.
Contact the terminated employee and make a formal offer. Explain any repayment of compensation related to the layoff. Also explain the vacation, sick time and pension entitlements that the employee could receive.
You must abide by federal and state anti-discrimination laws when hiring or rehiring employees. You cannot use age as a factor in disqualifying a potential candidate for rehire. Additionally, you cannot discriminate against a terminated employee on the basis of race, color, gender, religion or mental or physical handicap.