The Benefits of Hiring Boomerang Employees

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According to research  by BambooHR, 15% of employees went back to a former employee. In addition, 40% of employees said that they would consider becoming boomerang employees to return to a former company.

What’s most interesting from that research is that 76% of HR professionals said they accept more boomerang employees than they would’ve in the past. So what changed?

With COVID-19 creating the perfect conditions for the Great Resignation and the Job Hopper Economy, many companies are opening new channels to find talent. That includes hiring talent that once left.

With the Great Resignation, some employees may have found that they preferred their old company. But should you welcome them back with open arms? Keep reading to discover the top reasons why you should.

What Are Boomerang Employees?

Boomerang employees are one of the latest trends in the recruiting world, and many former employers are still trying to understand what they are. Boomerang employees are simply employees who left the company and then came back to work for that same company later.

Typically, these employees will leave rather than be let go. With many employees quitting due to the Great Resignation, more boomerang employees are flying around a tight labor market.

A former employer might not trust hiring a boomerang employee, but there are so many reasons you should hire them.

Faster Onboarding

One of the main reasons you should hire a previous employee is that the onboarding process will be much easier and faster. Depending on how long it’s been since they left, they’ll likely be familiar with your company culture and processes and won’t need as much training.

They’ll be able to start working on the new job quickly. All they’ll need to learn is the latest work patterns or any changes that happened while they were gone. Even if you didn’t hire them for the same role that they originally left, their knowledge of the company will help them advance far faster than another candidate would be able to.

If you’re a company with a very complex hierarchy or system, then hiring boomerang employees is one of the best ways to fill vacant positions.

Save Time

When you hire an employee who comes back, you’ll save a lot of time on training. In fact, they may even know more than they did when they left due to experiences at other jobs.

With a fresh new hire, you’d have to spend hours training them to do something, but you gain a significant time investment when you rehire a former employee. If you’re lucky, they may even be able to train other people with the knowledge that they got somewhere else.

Attract New Talent

If you focus on your employer branding, there’s nothing more helpful than attracting previous employees. Other candidates will see that people who left initially came back, and they will take this as a sign that you are a good company’s employer brand to work for.

If employees hated the workplace, they likely wouldn’t return. But if a candidate returns to that workplace, it probably has some benefits, and other applicants will notice that. Now, you’ll have to figure out how to advertise this to other applicants who are considering applying.

Reduce Recruiter’s Work

With higher turnover rates in the market, your recruiters are probably busy enough. Hiring someone who has already been through the pipeline can reduce the effort a recruiter will have to put in.

When you bring boomerang employees back, they’ll be able to save your recruiter’s sourcing efforts. This will also help your recruiters create a good talent pool and network with potential employees and previous candidates.

Insight Into Competitors

When you bring a former employee back, they can bring back industry or competitor’s insights. These past employees will have a lot of knowledge about how the industry works, and they can now use that knowledge to benefit your company.

Even if the employee didn’t work at one of your competitors, they still will have different knowledge than they would’ve if they just stayed at your business. You can use this insight to grow your business and compete with your competitors.

Better Performance

Boomerang employees are usually more satisfied with their job when they come back, and they’ll perform better at their job. They feel more secure when it comes to performance reviews, and they usually perform at a higher level than they did when they left. Because of this, they’re more eligible to be promoted than a new hire who had never worked at your company before.

Their performance could also be better because of the insights and new skills at a different company. They might have a new outlook on the industry or know some hacks that will help them in their job. This unique insight can bring a team new energy to help it grow.

One study  researched the concept of boomerang employees in the healthcare system. The researchers looked at 13,000 employees that a healthcare organization hired over eight years. Out of those 13,000 employees, 2,000 of those employees were boomerang employees.

The researchers analyzed different types of job functions, but they still found that the boomerang employees were more likely to perform higher, and they were more likely to get a promotion.

How to Encourage Employees to Come Back

Now that you know all the reasons that you and your hiring managers should hire these boomerang employees, you’ll need to find a way to get them to come back.

This process starts when one of them resigns. When they leave, make sure there are no hard feelings and remind them that they’re always welcome to come back. Tell them how much you’ve enjoyed working with them and how proud you are of their accomplishments.

Many hiring managers might be tempted to be bitter or hurt by the employee’s decision to leave, but if you want the employees to come back, they need to have a smooth and encouraging exit process.

After the employees leave, make sure they’re still in your network. Have HR processes so that professionals know to maintain employee records so that you know who should be in that network. You’ll need to keep the relationship because it could take the former employee a year or two to decide to come back. People will stay at a job where they like the culture and the people they’re working for, so you can always use this as an incentive to draw them back. However, it’s much more effective when you maintain that relationship in the first place.

To keep employees in your network, you could try building an alumni network or create a newsletter designed for all the alumni. However, some people may even want to attend an in-person event. When you do this, you create opportunities for former employees to learn about new job opportunities.

When you have a good culture, it will also make it easier to welcome former employees back. Make sure that they feel like they belong, and you’ll have good employee engagement. Tell them that their opinion and feedback matter. When you do this, you make them feel like they’re a part of the company again, even if they left.

Hire Boomerang Employees Today

If your talent pools are drying up, consider reaching out to boomerang employees and rehiring some of your best talent.

However, if you still need help hiring these employees, can help. We have the best recruiting solutions, like an extensive network of recruiters and powerful AI sourcing software that can help you source those former employees.

If you’re interested in our many recruiting solutions, contact us today !


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By Alyssa Harmon