According to a recent survey conducted by top recruitment agencies, 40% of managers are reluctant to rehire employees who have left. However, what are the benefits of incorporating a boomerang strategy into your overall recruitment strategy?

Boomerang employees are those who leave your employment, usually to go and work for another employer, but then subsequently want to return to work for you, often after only a short period of time. These former employees have no special rights to be interviewed for or offered an available role within your business. So, you’re entitled to treat them in the same way as any other job applicants during the recruitment process. However, consider the following benefits of recruiting boomerang employees:

  • they may already have extensive knowledge of your business and how it operates, enabling them to “hit the ground running.”
  • they may require no, or minimal, training in the job role
  • you already trust them (to an extent) and know their strengths and weaknesses
  • they could be bringing useful new skills and experience gained whilst working for another employer, particularly where they left your employment, to further their career progression
  • you don’t have to recruit those whom you were glad to see the back of; you can simply focus on the ones that you valued and didn’t want to lose.
  • AND they could be a big advocate of ‘the grass is not always greener’ support, letting exiting employees know that they are better off staying with you, hence why they wanted to come back!

If you do offer a job role to a returning/boomerang employee, it doesn’t have to be the same role as they were previously performing, and you are not under any obligation to offer them the same, or better, employment terms as those on which they were previously employed. If they do come back on better terms, be aware of the risks of the friction this may cause amongst existing long-serving staff, particularly if they’re coming back to the same role AND their employment clock starts off again. It is not continuous employment if they have already left.