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How to Spot & Hire Boomerang Employees Back to Your Organization

How-to-Attract-Passive-Candidates-Yoh-Blog-Post-compressed-733058-edited.jpgBoomerang employees is the latest staffing and recruiting trend that is stirring ample attention. As prior employees are re-hired into the workforce, boomerang employees are worth their weight in terms of offering a unique perspective to recruiting and hiring within your organization. 

The boomerang employee is becoming more prevalent than ever before. According to a September 2015 study from Workplace Trends, 76 percent of the 1,800 HR professionals surveyed said they are more accepting of hiring previous employees now than they were in the past.

Let’s take a look at how to make the most out of boomerang employees for your organization. 


Create a Mentorship Program

Typically, employees who return to a company often left for a new opportunity or to learn more. They are bringing back a good amount of knowledge they could share. Encourage boomerang hires to become mentors.

Mentors make a positive impact on most employees. The 2016 survey from Deloitte found that over 90 percent of the millennials surveyed say their mentors share quality advice and show a good level of interest in their professional development.

Start by appointing a mentorship committee for a mentoring program, and establish the goals and the main objectives immediately. What do you want to accomplish? You can set a goal to raise retention rates among minorities, to develop a team of leaders, or hone in on specific skills you want to teach.

Next, build a team of boomerang employees and senior colleagues to develop a curriculum designed to help younger professionals achieve these goals. You can align mentee goals with the program, or encourage participants to set their own personal goals. The course can consist of power lunches, seminars, classroom style programs, or a mentoring boot camp. It should be interactive and engaging.

Then, create enrollment forums, and encourage top talent to participate by promoting it through a campaign that raises awareness. Inform the staff about enrollment deadlines, the purpose of the course, the role of the mentors, and how it will directly benefit those who participate.


Train Brand Ambassadors

Encourage boomerang employees to become brand ambassadors. Typically, the best brand ambassadors are those employees who:

  • Feel valued and respected by their employer
  • Work with passion and motivation
  • View their employee experience as positive
  • Trust and respect management

Train your boomerang employees on how to spread brand awareness through the various channels they have access to. Create a social media training program to make people comfortable with using their social media to promote your brand.

Employees who return usually do so because they look favorably on the company. Their story is powerful.

Simplify everything for them. Equip them with the tools they need, like a consistent brand message, a voice and style to use, and tips on which channels to use. For example, if you have company news you want them to share, when you email it, post in on an internal portal, or share it in a meeting.

Make sure you provide them with a formula to use for their social media status updates. Also, suggest a few sentences for them to put on their profiles to build a consistent online presence.

Bring them out to job fairs and other recruiting events. Let them speak on behalf of the company and represent an authentic voice that can share the benefits of working at the company. Testimonials are good to promote. Record a few with boomerang employees and post them on your career site, social media outlets, and other sources that job seekers will look to.


Get Feedback for Better Recruiting

When former employees return, you need to understand why they left and why they returned. Once you get an idea about what pushed them away or what inspired them to seek employment elsewhere, you can address that issue to prevent more turnover.

For example, if they left for better growth opportunity, try to identify how you could offer that to current employees to avoid losing quality talent. Of course, you can’t prevent everybody from leaving, and you don’t want to compromise the integrity of your culture to appease everyone. However, you can still learn and grow your opportunities for employees.

Inquire about this directly in person, or send them a survey that addresses reasons for leaving. You want straightforward answers to make the company better.

On the other hand, ask about why they came back. If they returned because they respected the company’s transparency, use that in employer branding efforts. Look for the positive and market that.

This kind of feedback improves the recruiting process and quality of hire. It also may lead to some restructuring if you realize that the employee experience is worse than you imagined. Identify problems with organizational structure and operations, and plan to address those you deem most important.

Boomerang employees carry a lot of value. They’re a credible voice that can mentor great talent, advocate for the company brand, and provide insight about the employee experience.

How are you using your boomerang employees?


About the Author: Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the talent management solution that helps companies identify, hire and retain more A Players. 

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