I talk to a lot of contractors that tell me, “I’d never let someone come back to work for me if they quit. If they leave the company, they’re not welcome back!” We’ll, if that’s you, you need to stop thinking that way. Business is Business…having this type of attitude is making it personal. Business Owners and Managers need to grow some thick skin if you want to be effective in recruiting. Ask yourself this; how many people have left my company that were good employees? It’s virtually impossible for you to say “NONE”, unless you’ve only been in business a short while. The bottom line is that a good person is a good person and you should always be willing and excited about the possibility of them joining or re-joining your team.
Start by making a list of every single good employee that has ever left. Look through your files and get their most recent contact info. Pick up the phone and give them a call. I’ll bet they’ll be surprised to hear from you. Don’t just immediately try to get them to come back to work for you, just check in to see how everything is. Find out about the job, what’s been going on in their life, how the family is, etc… and let them know that you’ve all missed them and that the door is always open if they ever want to talk about coming back. Maybe now isn’t the right time for them to leave where they are, but stay in touch on a regular basis and don’t forget to ask for referrals.
Next and from now on, if one of your good employees leaves your company, follow up with them in two weeks to see how the new job is going. You’d be surprised to find out how many people wish they had just stayed where they are, but are to ashamed to call their past boss and ask for their job back. Make it easy for them. If things are going well; continue to stay in touch every few months in case something changes. Don’t forget to let them know that the doors always open.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.