As the saying goes, “People come, people go”. In reality, this is really happening, even in businesses. Boomerang employees do exist!
Boomerang employees are employees who leave their employers and eventually come back. At first, you might see them as happy-go-lucky individuals who have never been so dedicated and serious about their work. But, as time goes by, they can become an asset to your company and they will be considered as an increasingly valuable source of talent.
Based on observation, women and older employees have the tendency to become boomerang employees. Some women choose to get out of work for quite some time because of motherly duties or soul searching. Meanwhile, older people typically look for more suitable work for their age and then go back to their previous jobs as the last resort. Besides these two, there are also other groups of people that return due to personal issues like financial or domestic problems and better job offers.
Boomerang employees can offer a lot of advantages. Their familiarity with the company’s operations and the work culture, as well as acquaintance with current employees and clients, can offer you less cost when it comes to training as they already are familiar with everything. In short, they are an alternative talent source that is cheaper to hire.
While offering great advantages, there are also cons of hiring a boomerang employee. CEO of Hatch IT Tim Winkler said that there is always a reason why an employee left in the first place. Most of the time, the reason is something that was not pleasing to employees, such as salary, culture, boss, or something else. And if the root problems remain and they come back, they will still be unhappy. This will affect productivity and return on investment. The return of a departed employee can also call into question the person’s loyalty, said Winkler. There is always a chance that these employees will leave again.
As a leader, it will be wise to weigh the pros and cons equally. Find out why the employee leaves in the first place and consider their reasons. Discuss with board members whether to accept them again or not. Although a former colleague might be less expensive to hire, they might still be out there waiting for a new experience. Therefore, sometimes, hiring new candidates might give a better chance for the workforce to prosper as they can bring in a new perspective as well as a new face to the company. Have a motto: “Look for the best and don’t settle for easy”.
If you determine to rehire boomerang employees, make sure you have a proper strategy for it. The biggest challenge here is boosting your former employees’ morale when going back. You should offer your returning employees more perks that other companies might not offer. Since you know them personally, you can customize some offers that can definitely entice them to go back and stay loyal to you.
Here are some that can help you win back those talented returning employees and ensure their loyalty:
What’s the key takeaway? Before hiring a former employee, do your homework of evaluating the returning employee and your own workplace environment.