Many Employers Hiring Familiar Faces

September 16, 2009 ( - A survey by a Nashville recruiting firm found that 40% of employers are planning to rehire some former workers they laid off as either full-time employees or as consultants and freelancers.

A news release from OI Partners said 37% of employers polled do not plan on rehiring any laid-off workers. Some 52% of employers have occasionally rehired laid-off workers, and 16% of companies have frequently rehired some laid-off employees.

As business picks up, employers may first hire employees for temporary and project work before hiring full-time employees, and they are more willing to bring back laid-off workers as contractors or staff.

The top reason companies are rehiring, or planning to rehire, laid-off employees is because of the employer’s familiarity with them. Other main reasons for rehiring former employees are: they fit into the company’s culture and environment; there is a shortage of experts in specialty areas such as information technology, marketing, and finance; and it is less risky than hiring new employees, the news release said.

“This attitude represents a major shift in employers’ rehiring philosophy. In the past, companies would not rehire laid-off employees, but now they are more willing, and more employees may consider returning,” said Tim Schoonover, chairman of OI Partners, in the news release. “Rehiring laid-off employees is a way to keep hiring costs down, since there will not be any fees to be paid. Employers already know the workers’ talents and skills, they can get back to performing their old jobs quickly, and have already demonstrated they fit well into the organization.”

Employers have come to realize the advantages of rehiring employees they are familiar with over making potential bad hires. “The cost of a bad hire can reach as high as three times an employee’s salary when including severance, unemployment compensation, recruiting expenses, lost business income and productivity, and potential wrongful termination lawsuits,” said Schoonover.

More information is at or by calling 800-232-5285.