Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve received several notes about boomerang employees. In a nutshell, boomerang employees are basically rehires. They worked for the organization, left, and have boomeranged back.
It’s a good time to talk about boomerang employees. There’s been a bit of a rise in boomerang employment. I attribute it to the increased challenges in finding talent. The last U.S. jobs report started the conversation about “full employment”. I recently heard a senior vice president of human resources say that the “war for talent” is child’s play. Candidates were showing up for interviews with 6, 7, 8 offers. Organizations have to start thinking about how they will differentiate themselves.
One way is to consider “Adding Boomerang Employees to Your Recruiting Strategy”.
When you think about boomerangs, it might be tempting to only think about employees who leave for another job. First off, not everyone who resigns is unhappy with the company. It’s possible that employees might leave to attend school. Or maybe they’re an intern. It’s also possible that a boomerang could be an older worker returning to the industry at a later point in their career.
I know it would be awesome if employees never left in the first place. Organizations do need to have retention strategies. Turnover does happen. Sometimes though, it can be good for the employee (and the company) to let the employee leave and gain skills they would never have exposure to otherwise. Then the company can welcome the employee back.
A first step in letting boomerang employees know they’re welcome is the exit interview. Use exit interviews as a way to let employees know they can reapply for jobs.
The next step, and a really important one, is then making sure boomerangs actually feel welcome. It’s one thing to say it and another to actually do it. I had the pleasure of discussing the advantages (and cautions) of hiring boomerangs with Joyce Maroney, director of the Workforce Institute at Kronos, and John Hollon, award-winning journalist and talent management expert, during the podcast “Boomerang Employees: Can you Go Home Again?”
Boomerang employees can bring a lot of value back to the organization. They already know the company’s strengths and weaknesses. The one thing that must be resolved is the reason for the employee’s departure. Will the same annoyances happen again? The employee and company need to have their eyes wide open and discuss matters honestly.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby somewhere on the back trails of Walt Disney World, FL
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