Thinking of Rehiring a Technician Who Worked for You in the Past?Posted 12/13/2003
By Bob Cooper
Most shop owners and managers at many dealerships are willing to rehire past employees who were good producers. When you listen, this is what they'll typically say ...
"Now that Mike's worked at another shop for a while, he knows just how good he had it here with us! So I know that if I hire him back, he'll be a great, lifelong employee!"
Well, before you jump to an agreement, maybe you should consider this: When you bring someone aboard, you need to look for a number of things, and none are more important than a mutual commitment to a long-lasting relationship. And one easy way of doing that is by making sure each and every employee knows you have a no rehire policy. You'll need to tell them, in very clear terms, that if the day ever comes when they think about moving on, then they'll need to really think through their decision. Here's why:
If you're willing to rehire an employee, then what you're really doing is sending a strong message to your people that they can leave whenever they'd like, and if they were good employees, you'll always be open to hiring them back. Now here's the downside: That kind of business philosophy leads to giving people the initiative - or as I like to call it, "the silent approval" - that at any time, they can go out and see if the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence. So when the shop down the street says they'll pay them a dollar an hour more, this is what they'll typically think ...
"You know, it's a great opportunity and I'd really hate to pass it up. Since I have a great relationship with my boss and since I'm one of his best producers, if it doesn't work out, for whatever reason, I'm sure I can get my old job back!"
Now I need to be clear. There's nothing wrong with anyone wanting to do better in life, and we should always encourage career advancement in all the people who work with us. But as business owners, we need to think through our policies. By having a policy that says we'll consider rehires, what we're really doing is this: In a very indirect way, we're encouraging our employees to go to work for our competitors and we're putting ourselves in a position whereas we have to find and hire replacements. Then, if we do rehire, we're going though even another expense. All at your cost, and not at the cost of the employee.
So by now you might be asking yourself what a no-rehire policy will do for you. Well, here are your answers!
First of all, a no-rehire policy will bring about a greater commitment and sense of loyalty from all your employees.
Second, it will make all your people do what they should do, which is really think through any decision they make to leave your company. And that in itself will help prevent your people from making those quick, emotional decisions that more often than not turn out to be the wrong decisions.
And finally, the best benefit of a no-rehire policy is that it will cause your people to be more open, and discuss their concerns with you, rather than trying to run from the issues that may be confronting them at your facility.
Are there exceptions to the rule? Of course there are. If someone has to move out of town due to a family issue, if they are forced into a career change due to medical issues, or if they leave you for any other reason that is legitimately outside of their control, then they should be candidates for a rehire. On the other hand, if they walk away from you by choice, they'll not only be leaving you, but they'll more than likely go to work for your competitors. And by the way, if you go through an exit process with an employee, you will more than likely find that many of your people will change their minds and decide to stay on board when they're reminded that you have a no-rehire policy.
So, I guess, good business relationships are no different than good marriages. They require genuine commitments up front, continual communication, an understanding that there will be both good and bad times, and a willingness to make it work.
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