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Susan M. Heathfield

Would You Rehire a Fired Employee?

By May 22, 2014

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A reader asks an interesting question and many readers responded. Is it wise to rehire a fired employee? Do any of you have a different point of view, knowledge of trends, or the experience of rehiring an employee you fired?


"I am looking for your point of view on trends from the employers' perspective to rehire someone whom they fired. Do you have any posts or details on this subject?

"Specifically, are employers concerned that there would be resentment on the employees' part, the psychological aspect of it? The internal politics with employees and how the employer would be 'viewed' rehiring a fired employee? Is this a problem? I am based in Shanghai, China and finding HR experts is tough."

My Response:

I would not rehire someone I have fired. This is because I follow all of my recommended steps before I would fire someone. That means that the former employee had every chance to improve. They did not and they are not suitable for my organization, for whatever reason.

People don't change that much. If you are prepared to overlook the reasons you fired the individual in the first place, the same reasons won't go away but, possibly, the firing was not totally justified.

I'd rather train and mentor someone new. And, yes, there will be anger and resentment and the other employees will question management's judgment if you rehire someone you fired. But, mostly, the reasons for which you fired the person have usually not gone away. I recognize that laws and other considerations in your region may be different.

This is what I believe. I am not aware of trends or research. I have not written on this topic as I don't believe it should happen, except under a rare circumstance. I can't really think of any that would qualify. Let's give other readers the opportunity to chime in.

Image Copyright Diego Cervo

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