How to Ask a Former Employee to Return to the Company Successfully

Evaluating the need for rehiring a former employee

evaluating the need for rehiring a former employee

As a business owner or hiring manager, it’s not uncommon to consider rehiring a former employee. Maybe they left on good terms and you miss their work ethic, or perhaps a current employee has left and you’re looking for an easy replacement. Whatever the reason, it’s important to evaluate the need for rehiring a former employee before reaching out to them.

First, consider the circumstances under which the employee left. Did they quit, or were they terminated? If they quit, ask them to provide the reason for leaving. Maybe they left for personal reasons and now they’re ready to come back to work. Or perhaps they left for a better opportunity that didn’t quite work out. If they were terminated, consider the reasons for their termination. Were the reasons performance-related or behavioral? If it was for behavioral reasons, think twice before rehiring them as the same issues may arise again.

Next, evaluate the current needs of your business. Do you need someone to fill a position immediately, or do you have time to wait and search for a new hire? If you need someone immediately, rehiring a former employee may be a good option. They already know the ins and outs of the job and won’t need as much training as a new employee. However, if you have time to search for a new employee, consider the benefits of bringing on fresh talent and new ideas.

Another important factor to consider is the reception of rehiring a former employee by your current staff. Rehiring a former employee may cause tension and resentment among current employees, especially if the employee left on bad terms or if they’re being rehired in a higher position than they originally held. It’s important to address any concerns or reservations your current staff may have before making a decision.

Finally, consider the employee’s work history and performance while they were with your company. Did they consistently produce high-quality work, or were there performance issues? If there were issues, consider whether they were addressed and resolved before the employee left. If they weren’t resolved, rehiring the employee may lead to the same issues arising again. Similarly, if the employee consistently produced high-quality work, they may be a valuable asset to your team.

In conclusion, evaluating the need for rehiring a former employee involves considering the circumstances under which they left, the current needs of your business, the reception of rehiring by your current staff, and the employee’s work history and performance. Taking the time to evaluate these factors will help you make an informed decision and avoid potential issues down the line.

Rebuilding the relationship with the former employee

Rebuilding the relationship with the former employee

Bringing back a former employee can be a tricky business. Sometimes the decision to leave was mutual, and the relationship is still positive. In other cases, the employee left on bad terms and may not be immediately interested in coming back.

Regardless of the circumstances, it’s essential to rebuild the relationship with the former employee before trying to lure them back. Here are some tips to help you do that:

1. Contact them

Reach out to the former employee and invite them to have a conversation with you. Make it clear that you want to hear about their life and understand their perspective. Use a friendly tone and express genuine interest in their well-being. This conversation should be focused on building rapport and trust, not discussing the possibility of returning to work.

2. Acknowledge Past Mistakes

It’s essential to acknowledge and take responsibility for any mistakes that led to the employee leaving in the first place. During your conversation, sincerely apologize for any past mistakes that may have contributed to the employee’s decision to leave. It may not be easy, but it’s crucial to own up to past missteps. This step shows that you recognize the importance of the employee and what they bring to your organization.

For instance, if the employee left due to excessive workload, acknowledge this and apologize for creating an environment where they felt overwhelmed. This approach will show that you understand the issues the employee faced and will avoid them in the future.

3. Discuss Changes

After apologizing, you should discuss what has changed since the employee left. Talk about any changes in workflow, workload, or company culture. It shows that you value their input and have made necessary changes to improve the workplace’s situation. This conversation will give the employee a sense of how their future would be different from their past if they were to come back.

4. Identify Future Opportunities

Suppose the conversation has gone well and the employee is open to the idea of returning. In that case, you should discuss the opportunities that lie ahead of them. Identify areas where the employee could make a difference and provide them with a clear understanding of the role and expectations. This will enable the employee to make an informed decision on whether to come back or not.

5. Follow-Up and Keep in Touch

After the conversation, you should follow up with the employee and keep in touch. It is important to demonstrate that their contribution to the company is valued, even if they decide not to come back. Keep in mind that the employee may wish to remain in contact or have you as a reference when pursuing another opportunity elsewhere. So, staying in touch confirms the respect and appreciation you have for the employee and ensures that if a future opportunity arises, you’ll both be better equipped to evaluate it.


Rebuilding a relationship with a former employee is all about communication, transparency, and honesty. You need to be open to the employee’s perspective, acknowledge past mistakes, and show that you are committed to making necessary changes. Good communication goes a long way in repairing past relationships and paving the way for a better future.

Making a compelling offer to entice the former employee to return

Compelling offer

Bringing back a valuable former employee could bring great benefits to the company. As such, it is important to be able to convince them to return to the team. A compelling offer is necessary, and it should not just focus on the salary and benefits that they will receive. Here are some things to consider when enticing a former employee:

  • Highlight their accomplishments – Begin by acknowledging the achievements that they contributed to the team during their tenure. Recognize their contributions, and mention how much they were missed since they left.
  • Describe the new and exciting opportunities that await them – Promote the new projects, promotions, and other opportunities that could be a good fit for their skills. Explain how their experience makes them the perfect candidate for these projects.
  • Offer flexibility and work-life balance – When possible, try to negotiate a more flexible schedule, the option to work remotely, and other options for work-life balance. A healthy balance between work and personal life is one of the crucial factors that motivates employees to stay at a job, and it may just be the thing that they need to return to your team.
  • Discuss new compensation and benefits – Money isn’t everything, but it is still an essential factor that you have to consider. Offer a competitive and fair salary, and a comprehensive benefits package. Also, if available, consider signing bonuses and other financial incentives to help ease their transition back to the team.
  • Highlight your company culture – Talk about the company’s core values, mission, and culture. Emphasize the fact that their return can benefit the team’s culture and morale.
  • Provide a clear career path – Demonstrate how their work will contribute to their growth within the company. Offer opportunities for training, upskilling, and mentorship to ensure their long-term career growth within the company.

It is important to remember that just because someone was a great employee in the past, it does not necessarily mean that they will be a great addition again in the future. The employee might have found success and happiness elsewhere, and not wish to return regardless of the offer. In that case, it is crucial to respect their wishes and not badger them too much.

However, if they’re still open to the idea of returning to your team, make sure to provide a compelling offer. This offer should not only consider the benefits and salary, but also the growth opportunities and work-life balance it can bring to the table. Be open to negotiations and find a way to meet halfway. Remember that bringing back a valuable former employee can be a significant asset and investment to the company.

Addressing any issues that led to the employee’s departure

Employee's Departure

If you are considering bringing back a former employee who left for negative reasons such as poor performance or bad behavior, you need to address any issues that led the employee to leave in the first place. A transparent conversation can help you determine if the employee is willing to acknowledge the challenges and work towards improvement.

Start by identifying the specific issues that caused the employee to leave in the first place. These might include performance or behavioral issues, lack of work-life balance, poor compensation or lack of career growth. Be honest and direct during this conversation, and ask the employee if they are willing to address these issues if they were to return to your organization. If the employee acknowledges these challenges and expresses a willingness to work on them, it may be worth considering bringing them back.

It is important to note that if the employee left because of issues with their manager or colleagues, you need to ensure that these issues have been resolved before bringing them back. In some cases, it may be necessary to involve human resources to mediate and ensure a healthy work environment.

Another key factor to consider is the employee’s willingness to learn and grow. If a former employee is coming back after an extended period away, they may be bringing back outdated skills and knowledge. Take time to discuss any training or development opportunities that can help the employee upskill and stay relevant in their role.

Finally, it’s important to set expectations and goals for the employee’s return. Discuss the job responsibilities, goals and objectives, and how their performance will be measured. Clear communication can help set the stage for a successful return and lead to a productive and engaged employee.

Bringing back a former employee can be a great way to fill a talent gap or harness the skills of a valuable team member. By addressing any issues that led to their departure, setting clear expectations and goals, and providing opportunities for growth and development, you can set the stage for a successful return.

Communicating the potential benefits of returning to the organization

Communicating the potential benefits of returning to the organization

Reaching out to a former employee to come back to the organization can be a tricky situation. However, if you know how to approach them with the potential benefits, you can make the process successful. Former employees have a clear understanding of the company’s culture and what they can expect from their roles, hence they can be a valuable asset to the organization. This article highlights some ways you can communicate potential benefits when trying to bring back a former employee to the organization.

Highlight career development opportunities

One of the most convincing reasons that can lure a former employee back to the organization is the opportunity to develop their career. Highlighting new roles, promotions, and new projects that the company is working on can be a great way to get their attention. You can also emphasize any new training and development programs the company has established since their departure. Most importantly, show them how the company values their professional development and growth.

Show how the company culture has evolved

It’s essential to let your former employee know that you have made positive changes to the company culture since they left. If the company has made any efforts to improve its culture and work-life balance, be sure to highlight that. For instance, the organization may have implemented new employee wellness programs, flexible work arrangements, or any other initiatives that can make job satisfaction and performance better. Ensure that your former employee understands that you’re committed to creating a supportive and inclusive working environment.

The potential for a higher salary and benefits package

Offering a competitive salary and benefits package is one of the main reasons that employees leave and stay with a company. Highlighting the potential for a higher salary and benefits package can be a good way to get a former employee’s attention. Highlight any salary increase programs, bonuses, or even stock options that the company has put in place.

The potential to tackle a new challenge and make a meaningful impact

Millennials are driven by a sense of purpose and making a difference. If your former employee left the company to seek out new challenges or to explore other opportunities, highlighting the purpose of the company’s mission or the meaningful impact that their role will contribute can be a good persuasive technique. Highlight any successful projects that have been completed since they left and areas that they are best positioned to make a significant impact. Emphasize the opportunities to be part of a high-performance team and help drive the company forward.

Personal touch

It’s important to personalize the message if you want to convince a former employee to come back. Sending out personalized communications either by email, telephone, or direct message can help foster a positive relationship between the company and the former employee. Highlight any specific interests or achievements they had during their previous tenure and show that their contribution was valued. Additionally, congratulate them on their career milestones, accomplishments, and life events, and show that your support goes beyond the company walls.

Above all, the key to convincing a former employee to come back to the organization is to show how their contributions will help drive the organization forward. Communicating the potential benefits can create an environment that fosters open communication, transparency, and a sense that the company values its employees. With the right approach, you can convince your former employee to return to the organization and become an even more valuable asset.

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