From LeBron James’ rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 to Steve Huffman, co-founder (and former CEO) of Reddit, returning back as CEO in July 2015, boomerang employees are literally making a comeback. Find out who they are and the surprising impact they are making on recruiting and workplace culture.
Boomerang employees, also known as comeback kids, are employees that leave an organization, without burning bridges, only to make a triumphant return back to that same former employer only later. This growing workforce trend has caused the rehiring of former employees to lose its stigma. As such, boomerang employees are becoming more common across the business landscape.
For instance, a study done by Kronos and Workplace Trends surveyed more than 1,800 HR professionals, managers and employees and found that 76% of managers said they’re more accepting of hiring former employees than they were five years ago. Similarly, employees said they felt less anxiety about returning to a former employer.
Why exactly are boomerang employees on the rise? The answer can be found in today’s incoming workforce and business environment. Though the reasons can vary why employees leave in the first place—from taking a break, family, school, etc.—still one of the best ways current job seekers can develop career growth is by seeking different opportunities with outside organizations. But, thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever for employers to keep track and in touch with former employees; thus, opening the doors for them to come back. In short, there has been a shift in attitude and employers are now seeing more long-term benefits with returning employees.
Two Key Benefits of Hiring Boomerang Employees
Surprisingly, the benefits of rehiring past employees can provide invaluable insight into your organization’s recruiting and onboarding processes. While a bit unconventional, consider the following when hiring your next boomerang employee.
HR & Recruiting Advantages
How can boomerang employees help HR and their services? First, it adds less stress and cost to the overall hiring and onboarding process. For instance, David Almeda of Kronos’ explains,
“Boomerang hiring makes perfect sense to me...In truth, landing a job these days is not all that different as it used to be. Employers hire people they know, or people they know know. Simply put, it’s less risky for them and it’s all about rolling the risk. What’s the attraction for employers and employees alike? For you, as an employee, it’s knowing what you’re getting into, so it removes the fear of the unknown, plus for both you and the employer, it’s an easier training ramp up rather than if you’re a brand new employee. And on some level, the employer, too, has less worries if you already pass muster the first go-round.”
It’s much easier and less expensive for an organization to bring back a former employee who is already familiar with an organizations’ systems, such as HR software and company conduct.
In addition, having employees coming back speaks volumes for your recruiting and retention efforts. It shows the outsiders how valuable your organization is to an employee who has experienced work with other companies, yet made the choice to apply back to a former organization. Sharing this recruiting of boomerang employees through social media or company newsletters can create great PR for your organization. What’s more important, is that through this rehiring, loyalty between the employee and employer has increased.
Clue In on Workplace Culture
Additionally, boomerang employees can positively affect workplace cultures because they used to be a part of it. They know how the company functions and will take less time than new employees to start contributing. One way they can positively contribute is by sharing the skills they’ve developed outside of the organization with other workers. In turn, they can boost a collaborative culture by becoming a reliable resource for other employees to go to within the company.
Lastly, boomerang employees can help increase overall engagement. Think about it: they’re obviously excited to be back with a familiar organization and old friends and as such, more motivated in their work. They can become prime examples of what engagement should look like to other coworkers. As an organization, take advantage of this positive work attitude and see how boomerang employees can contribute to your engagement initiatives and activities.
As the war for top talent rages on in the business environment, boomerang employees can positively influence vast areas of your organization as well as motivate and influence your current talent to produce great work.
Malcolm Rowlings is a freelance writer who focuses on finances and best business practices. His years of experience in the field have given him a well versed understanding of the business world. You can connect with him on Twitter @malcolmrowlings.