There is a growing trend of boomerang employees. A boomerang employee is someone who has left your organization, for whatever reason, and then decides to work for you at a later point. Sometimes employees realize that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
In the past it was common for companies to have a policy against rehiring former employees, even if the employees left in good standing. But now hiring boomerang employees is becoming more and more acceptable.
A national study commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and WorplaceTrends.com Reference Note – https://workplacetrends.com/the-corporate-culture-and-boomerang-employee-study/ surveyed more than 1800 human resources professionals, people managers and employees on their thoughts about returning as a boomerang employee. Here are some interesting survey findings:
- 76% of HR professionals say that they are more accepting of hiring boomerang employees and 66% of hiring managers are more accepting of hiring back former employees.
- While only 15% of employees had returned to a former employer, nearly 40% said that they would consider going back to a company where they had previously worked.
- 46% of Millennials would consider returning to their former employer compared to 33% of Gen Xers and 29% of Baby Boomers.
- In the past 5 years, 85% of HR professionals say that they have received job applications from former employees and 40% say that their organization hired about half of those former employees who applied.
There are four common categories of boomerang employees:
- Employees who left to further their career.
I recently worked with a client who really wanted to rehire a candidate. The candidate had left her job and joined a competitor because she was itching for a promotion, but there was nothing available. She left for a promotion, increased responsibility and a 10K salary increase. Then my client company had a hiring need and knew that this person was perfect for the job. They rehired the candidate back with another 8K increase in salary. It was a win/win for everyone. The candidate got more money, more responsibility a shorter commute and a culture she loved. The hiring company got a candidate who was smart, had gone through the learning curve of the new role and already knew their culture. It was a win/win for everyone.
- Employees Looking for a Change
Sometimes a change is as good as a vacation and can be invigorating. Sometimes an opportunity to do something new and different can be exciting. When people have been in one role for a long time a change is a good thing. That doesn’t mean that it also isn’t good to come back at a later date.
- Employees Who Have Had a Major Life Event
Life happens. Partners can get sick. Children can need more support. An elderly parent may need taking care of. Sometimes people scale back to deal with a major life event and then want to return when that event has been dealt with.
- Employees Who Boomerang Deliberately
This category includes seasonal workers. This is particularly popular with “retired” boomers who come in to do a job and then return next year at the same time. This includes work at seasonal resorts, accountants during tax times or Snowbirders who go south during the winter.
Boomerang employees often stay longer the second time. Smart companies will offer an incentive plan where if they stay for more than 2-years they will give credit for previous years of service. (Ex. Longer vacation, incentive, service awards etc.)
With the boomerang trend increasing it becomes extremely important for organizations to continue to foster relationships and engage employees long after they have gone.