A boomerang employee is defined as “an employee that has left an organisation for whatever reason and then re-joined the same organisation at a later date”.
Perhaps the most famous boomerang of all is Steve Jobs who was rehired 12 years after being released from Apple. Whilst not every employee will achieve the heights and success of Jobs, there’s no doubt that boomeranging back into a company brings benefits to the employer and employee alike. And, in the current talent shortage, there is a talent pool that many companies facing a skills and talent gap, cannot ignore.
People change jobs for a wide variety of reasons, and in the majority of cases, leave a role with a very positive outlook of their previous employer. A recent employee study by US-based Workplace Trends outlines that 15% of employees have boomeranged back to a former employee and that 40% say they would consider boomeranging back to a company where they had previously worked.
The study also highlighted that more than half of HR professionals and managers give high or very high priority to boomerang job applicants who left in good standing, citing that being familiar with the company culture and having fewer training needs are key criteria to re-hiring former employees.
There are many benefits to rehiring a boomerang employee. Three key benefits include:
Beccy Cameron, Crowe’s Director of HR says, “Maintaining an active alumni network is vital for companies who are looking to hire qualified talent. There are huge benefits to keeping in touch with previous employees. Crowe has benefited for maintaining an active alumni programme and hiring back past (boomerang) employees, who can see how the firm has grown and developed in the years since they left.”
Of course there is no guarantee that a boomerang employee is right for the vacant position. There could be any number of reasons why leaving the company was the correct decision for both parties and those reasons could still remain. But, by ensuring you have a robust selection process, you will always ensure that you find the best person for the job – whether that is a former employee or not.