The Benefits of Hiring Boomerang Employees
Do you know what it means to be a boomerang employee? A boomerang employee is an employee that was employed at a business, left for a time frame which can range from a few months to a few years, and then makes the decision to return to their former employer for their job.
Traditionally, the idea of returning to a former job has not always been looked upon kindly. It was considered taboo for employers to rehire former employees for many years. The mentality was that these employees chose to leave their jobs, which often implied disloyalty to the organization. Further, former employees may feel nervous about approaching a previous employer to inquire about being rehired. What if their former job has already been filled?
I am a business owner who has a few members of my team that are boomerang employees. I believe there are several benefits to rehiring these hard working, talented individuals for both the employee and the employer.
“A second tour of duty.”
I often think of boomerang employees as starting their “second tour of duty” when they are rehired to come back and work for us. A former employee that had an outstanding work ethic and performance is likely to continue working hard and going above and beyond if they are rehired.
Work, however, will be a bit different the second time around. Certain processes may have changed in the company’s systems. New workloads and the way this work is managed, such as through software project management systems, may be implemented in their department. There may also be new colleagues or managers to work alongside. It’s important to make sure that the boomerang employee understands what has changed since they were gone. Their role may be slightly different upon returning to work. This requires maintaining a mindset that is ready to adapt and adjust.
They’re familiar with the business and know what to expect.
A fantastic employee that finds themselves returning as a boomerang employee likely has a very strong understanding of how the business is run and their role in the company. Employers may need to briefly get these team members up to speed about any changes since they have gone. However, for the most part the orientation and training process is a lot less extensive than it would be onboarding a new employee.
In any case, if you are onboarding a boomerang employee alongside new team members make sure they all collectively receive the same amount of training and hands-on instruction together. The boomerang employee may be able to provide extra assistance during the onboarding process, such as being available to answer questions from new hires and offer guidance and support.
It feels great to work with former stellar employees again!
Personally, I never understood the traditional thinking where it was looked down upon to hire a former employee. It’s always a bit sad to me to say goodbye to a former, hard-working team member. As I mentioned before, I have rehired some of these former employees as boomerangs. Not only is it good to have them back on the team doing what they do best, but I am excited to be working alongside outstanding performers for a second time.
Keep in mind that a boomerang employee often returns with new experience up their sleeve, too. They might have worked at a different company in the time since they were away and learned new skills. These skills could make them even more proficient at their jobs and allow them to train other members of their department to further grow and succeed. Even leaders can learn new concepts from boomerang staff members! Keep an open mind and be ready to welcome boomerang employees where and if you are able. It’s part of the next normal in the workplace.