It’s never easy to see a talented employee leave, but in today’s market, the stakes may feel even higher. With turnover rates at an all-time high, voluntary resignations may have become commonplace at your organization. As employers across the country grapple with the same situation, competition for top talent remains fierce—and you may be struggling to backfill these open positions, as a result. To overcome this challenge, you may want to consider an untapped source of talent: boomerang employees.
A boomerang employee is an employee who has left the company, but then returns to work for the company after some time away. Companies in specialized industries, such as Public Accounting, have utilized this strategy in the past, but it is increasingly being used more widely.
In fact, boomeranging is also becoming a popular trend among job seekers. According to a report by UKG, nearly 1 in 5 people who quit during the pandemic have already gone back to the job they left. For those who have not yet returned, 77% would consider it under the right circumstances, according to our 2023 Total Talent Guide.
With professionals realizing the grass is not always greener, employers have an opportunity to engage former employees who may be eager to return. While boomerang employees can be a very successful hiring strategy, you’ll want to carefully weigh the pros and cons—and you may even want to consider it on a case-by-case basis.
Pros of boomerang employees
The benefits of rehiring a former employee are plentiful. They include:
When to think twice
There are certainly situations where you would want to think twice before hiring a boomerang employee. These situations include:
If you are considering a boomerang employee, you will want to consider asking some targeted interview questions to ensure they are the best option for the role. Here are a few helpful questions to get started:
Boomerang employees are not something new, and it is not surprising to see this trend accelerate in our new normal. If this is a sourcing tactic that you’d like to incorporate into your overall hiring strategy, leaders must invest time into relationship building with current and former employees. Some ways to do this include:
Need more tips on hiring in today’s evolving market? Check out our 2023 Total Talent Guide for smarter strategies + salaries for a new era of work!
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