Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Re-Hiring the already Fired employees

Dear Colleagues,

You work hard, you expect promotion. Then one day, end of year, a young employee from Human Resources, calls you and says. “Your position has been eliminated,”. There were some words before and after, but you don’t really remember them because these five words consumed your brain for the entire call-and for many weeks following. This was your first layoff.

After you calmed yourself down, you thought about the best way to be laid off, the exit strategy that would be most beneficial to your future. You came up with these guidelines to help anyone else who faces a layoff, which seems to be everyone these days:

Ask for an explanation, but don’t expect or demand one

If you are laid off, you deserve a reason from your management, but you often will not get one. Accept that fact quickly. If you insist the point, you run the risk of harming the relationship with the person who will be your best reference to future employers-and you stand to gain little more than a vague excuse.

Maintain a professional image throughout the ordeal, only letting your guard down when you get home.

The people you work with will also be references to give to future employers, and you need their last image of you to be as positive as possible. Crying and cursing as you’re escorted to the elevator would be a perfectly human response, but not a very strategic one.

Finally, let it go. Don’t spend your time over-analyzing what happened. A job search is tough, and exponentially so in this recession. You have too much work to do to waste your time thinking about the work you won’t be doing anymore.

As you read these words now, many months after the downsizing, they seem simple. But at the time, there was nothing harder to do than suppress my emotions as much as ou could and follow these steps. If you face it, this will be hard, but it will be the most advantageous thing you can do.

After all, telling your new interviewer that she can not contact your former employer or colleagues is a huge red flag, and with millions of other unemployed people competing for the limited number of job openings, a red flag can mean elimination from the pool of applicants without even a chance to explain it.

You could be fired from your job. Time is hard. We have global financial crisis, you find yourself unemployed. You feel humiliated. You feel that you do not deserve that response, that you are the one to be fired.

But company can not get enough orders to survive. So they need to cut expenses. They need to fire people to reduce expenses. You are the one to sacrifice.

Then one day in time, maybe not very long, company gets orders, they need human resources. They feel that re-hiring is better then new recruits since they do not need time for reorientation. They prefer their ex-staff. They invite to join them again.

However whatever the time passed in between, now working conditions/ your terms are different. You are humiliated in the past.

You spent one of the worst periods of your life time. You had debts to pay, you had to pay mortgage, find money for your children for their education.

You had so hard times to survive. Your core family supported you. Your friends, your networking helped you to find another job/ another business environment to earn money and survive.

Then one day your company calls you back. They should pay. They should pay the consequences. You were the one who paid their termination decision. This is not so cheap. Think about, and answer the following questions

Companies expect the employees to care the company interests at extreme levels, however they also expect them to sacrifice from their personal gains. Why??

Do you re-hire the employees you fired earlier? Yes, you do. Because the ex-employees need no time for orientation. Company gets the memory back.

How about that question, "Do you work in a business environment where you were fired before?" Good question but it is not so easy to answer.

They need more programs to upgrade the employee morale, restructuring / re-building re-hired employee self confidence, and belonging feeling.

For an ex-employee, if he/she is not yet employed, it is better to get a job, than stay unemployed, better hired than fired.

On the other hand, company looses the confidence of the ex-employee, he/she would be looking for another job in time.

Fired employee looks for family support at all time to overcome the difficulties.

He/she should consult with his/her seniors who had similar nasty experiences in their past.

Re-hiring is costly. Companies should think twice to fire employees in hard times. Employee expenses are a small percentage of the overall expenses.

Re-hiring procedures should be carefully re-examined by both sides, by employer as well as employee.

Low profile is recommended to re-hired employees. Long term expectations are to be avoided. Career expectations are to be kept at lowest level.

You may also consider to return to university for MSc MBA PhD degrees if you do not have dependent, if you can survive for at least 3-years. That postgraduate degree will be very helpful in your senior management career plans as well as in your senior years.

An employee/ professional should look for any means to build his/her own company/ enterprise, where he/she can not be fired again. It is certainly better to work in an environment where you can control your own fate/ destiny.

Your comments are always welcome.

Haluk Direskeneli, Ankara based Energy Analyst

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