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Tuesday, May 08, 2007



I came across your website and would love to get some information from you. From what I read, you seem to be extremely knowledgable about the HR field. I was terminated from a job approximately 6 years ago. This company has a no rehire policy, but Id like to apply again anyways. From what I was told, this company has a 6 year retention policy for employee files/records. Im not sure how that process works. My question is, would it be possible for me to get back in without them knowing I was a previous employee since it has been six years since I was last employed there? Id like to know the odds of this happening. Any suggestions?

Thanks for your advice...

Dear Job Seeker,

I hope your day isn't ruined by my answer. My day should be fine, by the way, as I am blogging from Disney World (well, from my hotel--although, blogging would be a useful way to pass the time while standing in lines).

I doubt your company has a true "we don't rehire anyone" policy. Most likely they have a "we won't rehire a select group" policy.

First of all, if they have told you that you are not eligible for rehire, you aren't, even if it's been six years. We run a search on the social security number of everyone we hire so even if your name has changed since you left, we know who you are.

Second, I've never yet seen a job application that doesn't ask if you've worked for this company previously. If you check "no" and get hired and they find out about it later (which they will--6 years is a very short time) you'll be fired.

Now, if you want to apply and be honest and go ahead. It can't hurt. But, don't try to skirt the policy.

Good luck on the job hunt. There are a zillion companies out there. Better ones than the one you left.

Evil HR Lady


Lisa said...

Hr Stuff aside, have you met Cinderella yet?!

Wally Bock said...

OK, Job Seeker, let me see if I understand. You were fired by a company, presumably because they thought they had cause. Now you want to get hired back at the same company by lying to them. And you think this is a good idea?

Evil HR Lady said...

We have met Cindarella. We had dinner at the Grand Floridian with Cinderella, Prince Charming, two mice and the Fairy Godmother. Joy of joys!

Anonymous said...

I have a similar prob, evil hr lady. I was HONEST about working at this company before, I did get fired from there 7 years ago. I told them I worked there 7 years ago. They did not even ASK what happened, during the interview, she said "you worked here a long time ago?" I said yes. That was it, she never asked. Well, I am worried, I was rehired, and I am currently going through training, can they fire me later if someone says they remember why I got fired, etc? I am assuming that if they didn't ask, and I was honest, either they looked me up, or just don't care because it was years ago. Can I just concentrate on doing a good job and not worry about my position everyday?

Evil HR Lady said...

Anonymous 12:34,

I would quit worrying. You were honest. They had every ability to look up why you terminated. They probably did.

It's been 7 years and unless you signed a general release stating that you would not apply again, you did nothing wrong.

Enjoy your new job and work hard.

(Of course, almost everyone is an at will employee, which means they can fire you for any reason or no reason. Just my little cheery disclaimer.)

John said...

Do employers check your social security number prior to the first interview or after they hire you? What about if you quit a company and you re-apply in a different state and say no to have worked there before and they find out?

Evil HR Lady said...


The answer is "it depends" on when they check your ssn. However, do not even think about lying about working there previously. You will get caught and if you didn't want to confess in the first place, I'm guessing it didn't go so well and they either will not hire you or will have no qualms firing you.