Rehired by the Company that Laid You Off -- Would You Do It?

rehire-laid-off-employeesMore than 600,000 unemployed Americans decided that they were just not looking for jobs in June. But what if the companies that laid them off wanted them back? Is swallowing pride worth a paycheck? A survey conducted by Right Management, the world's largest talent and career consulting company, found that 18 percent of laid-off workers are rehired by their former employers.

New York marketing professional Jordan Yanco experienced this firsthand in 2010. He was completely surprised by a January layoff. His employer, Clearchannel Taxi Media, was bought out by Veriphone. After the buyout, most employees had to "reapply" for the jobs they already had. Yanco says that in his interview, the new CEO said, "You have to add value, and Jordan, you add value."

He got laid off anyway, three days before a work event he was managing. His employer sells advertising and credit card technology for taxicabs for about 25 cities. Yanco even offered to stay for the event and see it through, but he was asked to leave. He received a severance package -- and not six months later, he was called to come back.

"I negotiated a higher salary for the same job," he says. "And since it took them six weeks to do the paperwork, I decided to take some trips. I got my offer letter on the beach."

It's the economy; it's (usually) not personal

Gary Szymanski is a human resources director for a real estate development firm in Seattle, Wash. He says his firm re-hired three employees after layoffs spanning 2008 and 2009. And in all cases, people were not hired back at the same levels or salaries.

"We were happy to welcome all our re-hires back," he says "They were solid employees, and if things had not been so bad, we probably would not have had to lay them off in the first place."

He says it was not "weird" at all.

This scenario illustrates why it's important to follow the advice of Melvin Scales of Right Management: both the employer and employee should not burn bridges during the layoff process.

Right Management found the major reasons employers want their old employees back include:

  • 37% -- Familiarity with the job
  • 33% -- Understand the organization's culture
  • 20% -- Minimizes the likelihood of a bad hire

(Source: Right Management -- a Manpower company, November 2009)

Job security? What job security?

Yanco is still keeping his eyes open. "I'm just glad to have a job but I don't know how long it's going to last," he says. "And we're in a temporary office space, which isn't exactly a sense of confidence."

Yanco maintains a growing side company where he coaches actors on regional and international accents and dialects, in addition to being a writer and standup comedian. But his marketing job is what pays the bills.

Szymanski says morale is as good as it can be, considering that no one in real estate has a sense of job security right now. "If we do not sell houses and close those sales, all bets are off when it comes to jobs."

Next:Hiring Trends for 2010: Where the Jobs Are >>

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