Struggling to find a hire with suitable skills? Worried about your yearly turnover rate? Reflecting on whether new employees will fit into the company culture?
The possible solution to all these challenges and more can be found in boomerang employees. As the name suggests, boomerang employees are former employees who left your organisation voluntarily but come back to work for you again. While there was previously a stigma surrounding rehiring former employees, it is definitely becoming popular with the increasingly competitive candidate market.
Boomerang hires accounted for 4.5 per cent of all new hires in 2021 up from 3.9 per cent in 2019, data from LinkedIn shows.
Staff turnover is inevitable
You never want to lose great employees, but turnover is inevitable — especially in a candidate driven market. In fact, in a recent survey by Matrix Recruitment, we found that one third of Irish workers plan on moving jobs in the next 6-12 months.
By including boomerang hiring among your staffing strategies, you may have an opportunity to bring valued employees back into your organisation one day. So, when a member of your team decides to move on for another job, retirement, personal reasons, or something else and they leave your organisation on a positive note, make sure to offer them a reference, let them know it isn’t goodbye forever and make sure to stay in touch.
Losing employees is part of a life, but it doesn’t always have to end negatively - employees may simply want to broaden their experience of the world and there’s nothing you can say. What you can do is maintain and build on these working relationships in a way that benefits both parties.
Advantages of hiring a boomerang employee
Firstly, they know your company culture, missions and values already and there is an established employee-employer relationship already in place. This former employee may have kept up strong relations with current employees, meaning that they integrate into the office culture much faster than new hires.
Boomerang employees are also familiar with the various company processes. If they are undertaking the same role again, the training process will be significantly shorter, saving you time. Simultaneously, their onboarding process will also be shorter as boomerangs tend to get straight to work and pick up where they left off.
Disadvantages of hiring a boomerang employee
It is only fair to present both sides and boomerang employees do carry a considerable risk. While some boomerangs may return brimming with excitement and innovative ideas, some may still cling to old ideas, now irrelevant to the company. This disadvantage can send your company backwards, as opposed to forwards.
Although boomerangs may have gained valuable experience during their time away, this experience may come at a considerable price. To return to your company, some employees may expect increased perks or compensation. Depending on the value and skills of this particular person, your company will need to evaluate whether it is worth it.
Of course, the biggest disadvantage of boomerang employees is the chance they may leave again. They already left once, so who is to say they won’t leave in another 3 months? If you decide like many that the pros outweigh the cons, it is essential to have a fully developed strategy in place.