Oh boy! This company totally messed up. They really lost out on several experienced and loyal employees. Now, not only will they have to recruit and hire a whole new staff in this uncertain climate, but they will have to spend hours and hours and hours on training. It doesn’t seem they thought this through enough.
The employees were totally justified. There was literally no incentive for them to re-apply. At their level of experience they were likely all confident they could find better opportunities. I don’t blame them one bit!