Boomerang Employees: Hire or Not To Hire? 

February 26, 202111:20 am983 views
Boomerang Employees: Hire or Not To Hire? 
Image source: Pixabay

As the saying goes, “People come, people go”. In reality, this is really happening, even in businesses. Boomerang employees do exist!

What is a boomerang employee? 

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. 

See also: Cross-Border Hiring: Challenges HR will Encounter

Should you hire boomerang employees, then? 

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. 

What to consider before re-hiring former employees 

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”. 

Here are other considerations you should make: 
  • Determine why they left in the first place. Interview them, ask for reasons. 
  • Address any lingering issues head-on. What might cause them to leave? It is important to resolve any lingering issues that might have caused them to leave. Otherwise, the employee will remain unhappy and might leave again. 
  • Consider how their return will affect other employee morale. Will hiring the former employee improve your work culture? Or will it result differently? How does their return will be received by their colleagues? 
  • Consider how they have changed. While many former employees have improved and diversified their skills during the interim, one cannot assume that all of those changes will be beneficial to your organisation. 
  • Consider how your culture and overall work conditions have changed. Just as former employees have likely changed during the time apart, it is quite likely that your organisation has evolved as well. 
What to do next

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: 

  1. Offer flexible time. Flexible shifts, individualized work schedules and compressed workweeks.
  2. Reduced shift hours. You can offer them part-time positions, leaves or even project-based works so that they might be able to balance their work-life and their personal lives.
  3. Accessible place. You can give them mobile work and telecommuting.
  4. Task-based work. Time restrictions can be very exhausting. Why not give them tasks and a timeline to follow for them to work on?
  5. Greener career paths. One of the main reasons why they decide to get out from your vicinity is a greener pasture. Why not offer them what they’ve been looking for? Offer better career development. 
  6. Discuss with them their needs and your company needs. By having an understanding from both parties, better performance is likely achieved and your returning employees will likely feel happier working with you. 

What’s the key takeaway? Before hiring a former employee, do your homework of evaluating the returning employee and your own workplace environment. 

Read also: Is Personality Test Effective during the Hiring Process?