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Small Business Digest


For 1 in 6 Laid-Off Workers, an Apparent Glimmer

About one in six laid-off employees is being rehired by the company that let the worker go, a survey of more than 1,100 employers shows.

Eighteen percent of laid-off workers are asked to return to work for their former employer, the survey indicates, while only 10% of the companies surveyed rule out rehiring ex-employees.

The results of the two-month-long survey were released by Right Management, the talent- and career-management branch of Manpower, the big employment-services firm.

Familiarity with the job and knowledge of the corporate culture makes former employees ideal candidates to fill positions on a contract or temporary basis, said Melvin Scales, Right Management senior vice president.

“Their ramp-up time is minimal, and they can start to make an impact almost immediately, given their prior experience with the organization.”

Some companies are looking to former employees first to fill voids, Scales says, because the companies “realize they may have cut too deep with the last round of layoffs.”

Among the companies polled, 37% rank “familiarity with the job” as the No. 1 reason for rehiring a former employee. Understanding the corporate culture is No. 2, at 33%. Twenty percent say hiring former employees reduces the likelihood of bad hires.

Although though there are now more potential employees to choose from, the available candidates may lack the skills or talent necessary to accomplish the goals set by individual companies, Scales says. According to Manpower's figures, roughly 19% of U.S. employers say they can’t find talented personnel to fill open positions.

That bodes well for the formerly employed.

Because an ex-employee's services or talents may be needed in the future - and in light of the uncertain job market - it's important to maintain professionalism when leaving a position, Scales says.

“It’s a competitive employment market, and maintaining positive networking relationships can really give candidates an edge,” he says, advising keeping in contact with former colleagues.

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