Boomerang Employees: Who Are They and How Do They Benefit Employers?

Businesses are staffing up. The talent market is tight. And boomerang employees can help close the gap.

What is a boomerang employee?

As you may have gathered, a boomerang employee is a former employee who comes back to work for you. Employees leave you for lots of reasons:

  • Layoffs and furloughs
  • Seasonal jobs (i.e., they were hired only for your busy season)
  • Voluntarily leaving the workforce
  • Focusing on a significant life event, like the birth of a child, an illness or injury, relocating, or caring for a loved one
  • Returning to school
  • Taking another job

After leaving, however, former employees may realize that the proverbial grass isn’t greener on the other side. Their life circumstances may change. Or they may simply have accomplished what they set out to do. Regardless, these individuals are ripe for re-recruiting. Here’s why:

  • They’re an easier “sell.” They understand your culture, your brand, and what you offer. This makes recruiting them faster and easier.
  • Faster ramp-up. Their knowledge of your industry and business makes them easier to re-onboard and speeds their time to productivity.
  • They may have new skill sets and/or knowledge. If your boomerang employee has taken classes, earned a degree, or worked for another employer, they’re bringing even more to the table the second time around.

How can you reap the benefits of boomerang employees?

Here are a few tips for using boomerang employees to boost your business this year:

  • Proceed with caution. If a boomerang employee reapplies for work, or if you’re considering reaching out to them, review their personnel files before making any decisions. Be sure they left on good terms, performed their job well, and were a good culture fit.
  • Choose the right role. While it may seem logical to simply rehire a boomerang employee into their former role, consider the following first:
    • Is the individual qualified to perform different or higher-level responsibilities? They could potentially add even more value now.
    • What are the boomerang employee’s 3- to 5-year career goals? Their career path and priorities may have changed since the last time they worked for you.
    • What are your company’s short- and long-term business needs? Make sure you’re adding talent where you need it for today…and tomorrow.
  • Develop a formal, ongoing boomerang program. If you staff seasonal positions, create a process for tracking and maintaining relationships with your best seasonal workers, year-round. When you’re ready to staff up for your busy season, you can approach these individuals first.

Need help staffing up your business?

Check out these earlier posts:

4 Cost-Effective Ways Your Business Can Attract Top Talent

4 Ways to Find Top Talent Using Social Media

Then contact PrideStaff. With a full range of recruiting and staffing solutions, our family of companies ensures you always have access to the qualified people you need – right when you need them.

It’s never “too soon” to discuss your needs, especially in today’s market. Contact your local PrideStaff office today to start a conversation.