The new trend of boomerang employees: Effective or not? Should you hire or not?

Category: Latest Hiring Trends

It is no mystery that we’re all dealing with a shortage of skilled candidates right now. With unemployment hovering around 4%, businesses are having a harder time recruiting skilled personnel. As a result, many organizations are considering employing “boomerang employees,” or ex-employees who willingly left the company and are now eager to return.

The trend of boomerang employees increased majorly post-pandemic, as the after-effects of the pandemic caused many companies to reconsider the employees who were let go by the company due to financial reasons. The period of covid-19 also witnessed ‘the great resignation’ wherein the quit rate of employees was sky high. So, given this new trend, we cannot really blame these employees who resigned during such unprecedented times for making a comeback.

There are several clear benefits to recruiting boomerang employees in this tight labor market, and although many among them are apparent, such as saving time and being cost-effective, others are a little more difficult to read.

Why should a company hire a boomerang employee?

A company obviously should only re-hire those employees who are in good standing with the company. Some savvy organizations keep in touch with great employees who leave. Some organizations have a person on their recruiting team whose job focuses on keeping in touch with former employees using means such as sending exciting emails regarding new developments or events happening in that organization, this helps the former employee stay connected with their old firm. Some organizations also create a platform for alumni to register and get a sneak-peak into latest news and happenings.

As per certain Career Builder surveys, it is noticed that as the hiring field gets competitive, candidates or employees who join a firm are only there for a year or two. Hence, hiring a boomerang employee is definitely a pro, as there is familiarity and trust that was built over a few years’ time with this former employee, hence the jump ship game doesn’t exist and there is newfound loyalty that these employees bring in.

If you are an organization with core values being your primary agenda while hiring for a particular position, bringing back old employees to the pipeline would be more advantageous than looking for new blood as the former employee already share the organization’s core values and you will find an employee who is committed and aligned to the values and goals of your organization.

Another pro of bringing in a former employee is that they have gained experience outside of your organization so the possibility of bringing in new and fresh ideas is high and this leads to higher productivity, and if they had previously worked with a competitor company, then they bring in market strategies to scale ahead as well.

Things to consider before hiring boomerang employees.

It is important to understand if bringing them back will enhance the role and the company’s performance. If they can improve the company’s culture and adjust with the current employees, the possibility of the current employees resenting the former ones is high, as they believe that they could have been a better fit if promoted to that particular role. Keeping this in mind, it is also important to consider not bringing any bad blood back to the organization. For example, doing a background check on these boomerang employees is a necessary step to understand if there had been any issues/feuds since they left.

Ultimately, companies must address the following question honestly: Is this former employee genuinely the greatest match for the role at hand? Familiarity with boomerang workers can occasionally emotionally obscure the objective at hand – making the best possible recruit for your firm. Every candidate, boomerang or not, brings unique skills and limitations to the job.

However, with boomerang workers, the recruiting manager has a lot of information at their disposal that other candidates do not. To guarantee the greatest possible hire, boomerang applicants and completely new prospects should be given equal weight, attention, and time.

Author: Aishwarya B.

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