Why Boomerangs Are Your Next, Best Hire

May 14, 2019

Boomerang employee male and female interviewer

It’s official: the trend of (re)hiring boomerangs has caught on. 

All trends reverse someday. It’s the very definition of a trend. So it was only a matter of time before businesses got fed up with passing over employees they knew and had already worked with, for greener talent. The practice of re-hiring old employees, or boomerangs, is not unheard of, but this practice has seen a resurgence in popularity. In fact, 76 percent of HR managers responded that they’re more likely to hire boomerangs now than ever before.

Benefits of boomerangs

The fact that boomerangs come already trained, and tend to be ingrained and engaged in your organization’s workplace culture are both top benefits. But then that list grows longer, because boomerangs know and understand company guidelines (no generalized training needed), yet they’re also bringing new and updated skills they gained while they were away from the company. Another key benefit is that boomerangs often act as a built-in morale booster for the office — their very presence alone engages and empowers the workers around them.

Foster a boomerang culture

After reading through a few major benefits of rehiring boomerangs, it’s clear that hiring these unique employees is a net gain for your organization. So the next question would be how do you create a work culture that attracts and fosters boomerang employees? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Get and use referrals - When hiring, 82 percent of employers rate their employees’ referrals as their best return on investment, proving that hiring managers recognize and put more weight to referrals. In fact, this explains why work-based social networks (like LinkedIn) are gaining in popularity. “Employee referrals have long been a preferred hiring method among employers,” wrote Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist for Glassdoor. He went on by saying that “allowing companies to tap the personal networks of current employees as a talent pool for recruiting.” Additionally, HR can easily tap into an already-built boomerang network — through current employees who have stayed in touch with employees who’ve left the company.
  • Don’t burn bridges - Stay engaged with workers who are leaving the company, and communicate clearly with them throughout their exit process. If their experience working at your company was positive, they have more chance of coming back as boomerang.
  • Celebrate boomerangs - It’s important to recognize boomerangs when they rejoin the organization — not only to commend them for returning, but to also encourage regular employees to keep that option in mind — if they ever were to leave, they have the opportunity to come back and re-engage.
  • Maintain relationships - After your workers leave your organization, it’s important to maintain the relationship you had put so many resources into developing. However, almost half of all companies have nothing in place to stay in contact with previous employees, whether that be an alumni network or communication strategy. However, many HR managers use other forms of communication to stay in touch, like email newsletters and recruiters.
  • Branch out to communicate - Many forward thinking businesses have created Facebook and LinkedIn alumni groups, for their former workers to stay in touch. In fact, according to Workplace Trends, 42 percent of HR recruiters refer to their Facebook alumni groups to communicate and stay in touch with employees who’ve moved on. 

These suggestions should kick your boomerang welcome culture up a notch. But if you want to learn more about Appirio’s culture, check out our Appirio culture blog, or even learn more about the Worker and Customer Experiences and the Virtuous Cycle in our hub as a resource center.

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