Return to former Employer

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 - CV Help, CV Tips, CV Writing, Job Application, job search, recruitment


Return to former Employer

Interested in working with Sainsbury's

Steve asks: I have applied to return to previous employer, would anything stop a former employer taking you back on? I used to work at this bank, and left after 6 months for another job with more money – BIG MISTAKE AS I NOW HATE THE PLACE. I left because the company got taken over and there was threat of redundancy: I have my own house so couldn’t risk waiting for possible redundancy. I have applied for a post at my former employer via their internet system. I have not heard anything back yet, and put on the email that I have worked there before as they will see from my CV, and hope they can consider me for the role.

In answer:
This is a difficult question to answer precisely, as the exact answer is defined by human relationships over technical or mechanical yes/no positions.

Firstly, you left them before your trial period was up. Most modern employment contracts allow you to leave or be dismissed quickly during the first year termed a trial period, and most HR departments would consider someone leaving before 12months a non-social fit with their culture

Secondly, having stayed with them for a less than 12month period, I am guessing you are applying back there after another employment period of less than 12months. The risk is that if you add a third period to that with any employer, your rejection ratios will escalate and you will have a lot of explaining in interview to do. High job turnover (particularly inside trial periods) suggest to an employer either that you don’t fit, or don’t know what you want to do – neither are traits employers wish to engage with.

Return to previous employer

Thirdly, HR will have a series of notes on you. You may think they are 100% positive, but there could be much in there which is not negative, but not good either. A fresh through the door employee won’t have a sickness record, or an expenses claim record, or many other things which an ex-employee will.

If they do ask you for interview, then the biggest issue you have to explain is why you left, and now why you want to return. Accepting your question here is more open than in an interview, the “I saw problems and jumped for more money” answer will get you a rejection. Jumping to somewhere also where you found you didn’t fit is also a negative. It says you jumped without looking, just for the money, so would easily leave them again if offered more money. Employers want employees who will stick with them, and you seem to show high loyalty to money.

Personally, from experience I would give you a less than 30% chance of employment with a former employer, unless they approach you. If you were outstanding and loyal, of course they want you back – but just another ex-employee is just a job seeker with a known track record.

Good Luck!

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