Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Will I get rehired?

From a reader,

Read your blog...you have a lot of interesting information. I have a question and I am wondering if you could provide some advice.

Here is my situation: a week ago my former company let me go due to poor economic times. I was still billable, but their current backlog was not there to support me. They were waiting for a couple projects to move before hiring people back. From talking to my former co-workers and other consulting firms, work is suppose to increase around 2nd quarter. This would possibly mean that my former company would hire me back.

Would it be reasonable to negotiate a higher salary? My stance is, they see value if they are willing to hire me back, I handle their clients good, I work hard, and it would give me some security if they are willing to go a little bit extra to convince that I am valued employee.

Would this be a good stance for me to negotiate on?

I am currently sending on my resumes, with no other job offers on the table. My concern is rejection and blowing an opportunity on possible income.

Any advice you have would be appreciated.

Well, I’ll have to be honest in my reply.

Based on your question, there are some assumptions that I feel could backfire. For one, while you got this information from your ‘sources’, they aren’t really valid until the projects have come through, agreed and have been signed on the dotted line. I might sound pessimistic (really don’t want to), but until the projects are officially agreed to, it can be the second quarter or much later. Secondly, even if the projects do come across, how do you know you’ll be rehired? That’s a scary assumption, because you are then counting on getting rehired without credible data! On the other hand, if they had let you go saying they’ll reconsider hiring you when the market improves, you at least stand a chance. Again, they might have ‘told’ you but they don’t have to. I don’t know of any law that says they must rehire employees, off course there might be a few exceptions. But under normal circumstances they don’t need to rehire. You can still apply and try your luck.

Next, assuming you do get rehired, chances are slim that they would make any changes in your salary. Since, the very reason for letting go in the first place was poor economic situation. It’s obvious that cost plays a major factor in such decisions. I then don’t know why they would spend more on rehiring you, while they can hire someone new by paying a lesser salary. Makes sense? No? It’s excellent that you’ve done a great job handling their clients, but that doesn’t in anyway indicate that the next person might not go one step ahead.

Alternately, here’s what I would have done. I wouldn’t count on getting rehired and instead focus my energy on finding another job. If the rehire does come through, it’s great. Else, I’m at least making sure there’s Plan B in place. Further, your chances of getting a better/expected salary package are higher at a new Company.

So what can you get from your previous company? You can get yourself some excellent references that can vouch for your work. That will go a long way in your job search.

Good luck with your job hunt!