What do we do about a former employee who keeps re-applying?

We have a job applicant who worked for us for about a year approximately five years ago. There’s nothing negative in her file, but neither of her former supervisors wants to hire her back, saying that she was not a good worker. She has applied several times and each time has received a rejection letters, but she keeps reapplying. Can we ask her to stop submitting applications?

Posted  03-14-2012

Ann Kiernan replies:

As far as I know, you can’t stop someone from applying for a job. Your best course of action is to continue to follow your job-posting and application-review procedures and treat her the same way you treat other applicants. Of course, you should hire the most qualified person who will be the best fit for the job and the company. Here, the main reason for not hiring the applicant is her earlier unsatisfactory work performance. Unfortunately, it seems that her former supervisors didn’t appropriately evaluate her performance or document her file. I’m also assuming that there’s no documentation indicating she isn’t eligible for rehire. And, the supervisors’ failure to document the employee’s poor performance may also be one reason she keeps applying for a job. If she was never disciplined for or counseled about her poor job performance, she may well believe she was a good worker. You may want to take this opportunity to educate the employee’s former supervisors – and all supervisors and managers – on the importance of managing and documenting employee performance.


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About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.