Employee boomerangs have always had a negative stigma attached to them. People have a perception that rehired employees that had to crawl back, begging, because no other company wanted them. Or they think the company resorts to rehiring old employees because it cannot attract new talent.
Is hiring former employees really a case of hurt egos and the inability to find better?
Nope. None of this is true. In fact, more and more companies are open to the idea of rehiring a previous employee. In a Walden University study, nearly 85% of HR managers said they would rehire boomerangs. Nearly 60% of these professionals felt that boomerang hires were important.
What is a boomerang employee? And just how valuable are they to rehire? We’ll give you the answer to both these questions and more on boomerang hires.
What Is a Boomerang Employee?
A boomerang employee is a worker who used to work for a company, left on good terms, and returned later to work for the same company. Boomerangs may have left the organization to pursue a different career path or due to personal reasons. However, they are a valuable talent pool that HR managers should not overlook when trying to fill job vacancies.
Six Ways Boomerangs Add Valuable To Your Company
Here are the top reasons why you should consider rehiring employees from your alumni network:
1. Boost Team Morale
You know the saying “the grass isn’t always greener …” Yes, this can also prove true for workers who leave your company to work elsewhere.
When you rehire an employee, it sends a powerful message to all the other employees at your company. It tells them that the grass is greener at your company. The boomerang employee has seen the other side, yet they want to work here with you again. This boosts morale and employee satisfaction.
2. Higher Employee Retention
Boomerangs may return more committed to their job than they were before. They’ve now realized where the grass is greenest. And they may have missed their old job, too. Thus, these former-now-current employees may have more determination to stay longer at your company. Enterprise Alumni reports that 44% of boomerangs have a higher rate of retention over a three-year period.
Higher retention rates are an enormous benefit for your business. Not having to repeatedly fill vacant positions cuts down on the costs of replacing employees. Forbes estimates these replacement costs at about twice an employee’s salary, including the costs for onboarding and employee training.
3. Higher Productivity
A returning employee can start off at a higher productivity level than an entirely new hire. They already know the ropes if they are back in their old job. And even if they fill a new or senior position due to the experience they gained during their time away, they still have a better understanding of how your organization works.
They know your workplace culture, mission, and values. They know where everything is and what the processes are. While you may need to do some light retraining, the returner will learn faster and grasp new processes quicker. The same report by Enterprise Alumni states that boomerang employees become productive at a rate 50% faster than entirely new recruits.
4. Reduced Time to Fill
In the hiring process, the time to fill is a vital metric to track. No HR manager wants to spend longer than necessary to fill a vacancy. When you rehire an employee, you reduce the time and resources spent on filling a vacant position. You don’t need to build a relationship from scratch. You also don’t need to undergo intense screening processes. Even onboarding and training aren’t as long as they might be with a completely new employee.
5. Low Failure Rate
Returning employees also have a lower failure rate compared to new talents. They already know the lay of the land. As the HR manager, you know what they are capable of; their strengths and weaknesses.
With a lower failure rate, comes a lower risk. Sure, some things might have changed during the “separation”, but the returner will still have a firm grasp on how to do things correctly.
6. Gain Competitive Intelligence
Your company also stands to gain a lot by rehiring a former employee. While they were away, the employee may have learned new skills and gained new knowledge, whether or not they worked in a similar field.
When they return and settle in, you stand the chance to gain from new knowledge, fresh perspectives, and innovative ideas that only their time away from your company could have brought.
Boomerangs have a pre-existing relationship with your company. When you rehire these employees, they can bring a wealth of skills and new knowledge and perspectives to the table. That can only benefit you and your business’s productivity. It’s a win for you!