A boomerang employee, the term for an employee who returns to a company after leaving for a period of time. In the past, if an employee left, that was the end of the relationship and both parties went their separate ways. But with the labor market shrinking and the world even more connected, are businesses closing the door on opportunities due to an outdated philosophy? According to a recent Workplace Trends survey, it seems that many have begun to change their notions on the subject with 76% of HR professionals saying they are more likely to hire boomerang employees now than in the past. For companies that haven’t considered boomerang employees and/or have policies in place to prevent them from being rehired, this blog will provide some of the benefits that are being missed out on.
Depending on how long the employee has been gone, a company can save significant amounts of time and money during the hiring and onboarding process. According to the new Human Capital Benchmarking Report put out by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost of a new hire is just over $4,000 and the average time it takes to fill a position is 42 days. By staying connected with former employees, you’ll have the chance to reduce those numbers drastically because former employees will have a working knowledge of the systems and processes of the company. You’ll cut the monetary and non-monetary costs associated with training the employee to reach an optimal productivity level.
If a former employee is well-liked, a boost to company morale will be brought upon their return. The returning employee will know the company culture and be able to find their fit much quicker than a new hire. This return will also show the current employees how well they have it at the company, knowing that somebody left looking for better and now wanted to come back. However, this benefit also has the highest likelihood of turning around and causing negative consequences in the workplace. If the current employees don’t like the one returning or feel they are being passed over for a promotion/raise as a result of this, the work environment may turn toxic and cause others to leave. So before making the final decision on bringing someone back, make sure that the hire will benefit all.
When a former employee returns, they bring with them whatever they have picked up since they left. Whether it has been a few years or just a few months, they will have had experiences that gave them new skills and perspective. With these new skills, they may perform better on the job and with a new perspective, they might be able to offer suggestions to improve company procedures. With the hiring of a former employee, you’re taking less of a risk because you know what this person can bring. The only unknown is what else they may have learned since which will only further enhance their likelihood for success this time around.
Of course, we aren’t suggesting rehiring any employee that comes back through the door asking for another job. You’ll want to make sure that they’re qualified for the position and that the relationship you had with them previously was a positive one. However, the benefits are too great to shut out all former employees, especially in the tight labor market, because they wanted to try something new.