Rehiring talent: Infosys leads the way for other companies
It is a common practice in seasonal industries and in markets where the labour force isn't overly plentiful
N.R. Narayana Murthy wants his former talented executives back at Infosys. And he is going all out to woo them. Economic Times reported that Murthy, barely two weeks into his new role as the Executive Chairman, is actively seeking to reclaim several of the executives who left for greener pastures.
Infosys, in the throes of a leadership crisis, sought the comeback of Murthy to help put the shaky organisation on a firmer footing. The information technology major, once the bellwether, is now being taken over by rivals such as Cognizant and TCS.
Infosys has put the spotlight back on rehiring talent, a recruitment strategy that companies have begun to employ even as cutbacks and layoffs are rampant. Rehiring (also known as boomerang hiring) is the act of bringing aboard former workers. It is a common practice in seasonal industries and in markets where the labour force isn’t overly plentiful. In the case of Infosys, it is more a case of bad succession planning than lack of talent.
Sources told ET that Murthy already zeroed in on some names: Shaji Farooq, who was a senior vice-president and the head of consulting and system integration; Balaji Yellavalli, who was the head of client services in the US for financial services and insurance; and Ritesh Idnani, who was the chief operating officer of Infosys BPO. Farooq and Yellavalli are now employed by Wipro. Idnani joined US-based software products company ISGN.
Roping in former employees, who are reliable and talented, is the most effective talent recruitment strategy for companies as it is cost-effective and less painful. In the case of high performing ex-employees, rehiring them is a great means of keeping them out of competitors or in Infosys’ case grasping them out of a competitor.
So, why you should hire old workers? Here are some reasons:
Of course, there is a negative side to rehiring. If the employee has left on a bad note, it can lead to resentment even if the employer has done everything to ease the stress of the situation. It may also lead to current employee backlash wherein current employees did a lot of the work when the company was downsizing. Often, there are cases where the rehired employee may be looking at the opportunity as a short-term success or because they need a job.
According to a Hewitt study for Centre for Competitive Management “Rehiring Former Employees: Maximizing the Benefits, Minimizing the Risks”, 81 per cent of workers would be interested in returning to a former employer in the future, assuming that they left on good terms and 44 per cent view “having worked for the same company in the past” as the number one way to establish trust in relationships. About 50 per cent of the rehires come up to speed, on average, faster than all experienced hires and, on average, stay twice as long.
The basis for a rehiring policy should begin with the exit interview when they moved on. A rehiring policy should contribute to the workplace’s productivity and cover areas such as who is eligible for rehiring. It should be clear and concise and must mention the recruiting process that rehires must go through. It should also mention how benefits and service will be treated.
Count on some awkwardness initially when an old employee returns. They offer the prospect of quickly contributing, fitting in smoothly, and repaying your decision to hire them by displaying extra effort and loyalty. The idea of rehiring has more pros than cons. So, go ahead, rehire your best talent.