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Survey cautions employers about redundant hiring and firing

By Workplace Staff

Eighteen percent of displaced employees who landed new positions using Right Management’s outplacement services were rehired by their former employer. This is a five percentage point increase since this research was conducted in 2005. This finding may indicate that some companies may have cut their workforce too deep.

“Given the uncertainty many organizations are facing, some companies may be struggling to find the right workforce balance to ensure they are able to meet business objectives,” says Melvin Scales, senior vice president for global solutions at Right Management.  “Companies need to consider longer-term workforce needs to avoid redundant firing and hiring, which can add to costs and erode workforce performance.”

“In some instances, organizations are realizing that they may have cut too deep and are bringing people back in consulting roles or for project work. In other situations, organizations are investing, hiring and growing in specific market segments or business divisions, while also divesting and restructuring in others. Former employees have the organizational knowledge and skills to jump back into roles quickly to get the job done,” notes Scales.

Right Management, the talent and career management expert within Manpower, a global leader in employment services, surveyed more than 17,000 outplacement candidates between June 2008 and June 2009. The individuals received outplacement services as part of their separation packages when laid off from their former employers. Eighteen percent of candidates were rehired by the same employer that let them go. In 2005, this number was 13 per cent, demonstrating a 38 per cent increase in rehires being made now.

Scales recommends that employers consider redeployment as part of their workforce management strategy.

“It’s a way of leveraging the skills and talents of existing employees and reassigning them to new roles within the organization. It provides an opportunity to retain valued talent, reduce the cost of turnover and leverage knowledge transfers within the company.

“Previous research conducted by Right Management found that only one in two employers offer redeployment before layoffs. With redeployment, employees are no longer passive objects of workforce restructuring but active partners in the organization’s drive for strategic change. The benefits of a successful redeployment program include lower restructuring costs, greater employee engagement, more effective talent management, an enhanced corporate image, higher productivity and improved business performance. It should be a staple component of an organization’s workforce management strategy,” Scales advises.

Right Management surveyed 17,413 outplacement candidates in North America between June 2008 and June 2009. 3,179 were rehired by the employer that had previously laid them off.

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