What is happening and what is reported, are not always the same thing. This is increasingly true when it comes to the workforce, hiring and employee departures. A talent blog from LinkedIn reported a growing number of workers are re-entering the workforce, often not long after they left. In some cases, these employees are leaving for a new job only to return to a former employer soon after.
Grass is not Always Greener
LinkedIn estimated these “boomerang” employees account for 4.5% of all new hires in 2021. This is an increase from 3.9% in 2019. In many cases, these employees left under positive circumstances but have decided to return to their former employer. Reasons for leaving an employer can be numerous, including caretaking, exploring a different career path, or jumping ship for what seems like a better opportunity.
Research found 43% of those who quit their job during the pandemic said they were better off with their former employer. As a result, one in five chose to “boomerang” back to their last job. With “boomerang” scenarios becoming more common, it is important companies have a strategy in place to welcome back former employees. Sixty-four percent did not have a strategy to maintain relationships with former employees, according to LinkedIn.
Benefits of Rehiring Former Employees
- Lower recruiting costs – employers can save one-third to two-thirds on recruiting costs
- More efficient onboarding – former employees already know the ins and outs
- Enhanced productivity and loyalty – “boomerang” employees are often more loyal
- Ready to roll – returning employees already know your culture and staff
- Bring a fresh outlook – return hires will often see the organization through new eyes
Evaluating the Return
While there are benefits to rehiring employees, not all returning workers will be a good fit. LinkedIn warned of the importance of considering why an employee left in the first place and knowing why they want to return. Employees who had a negative experience at the organization or who were not top performers may not be a benefit to the existing team. If the employee has been gone from the company for an extended amount of time, ensure their return will be an asset.
Welcoming the Boomerang
But do not expect former employees will know they are welcome to return. It is important to look at the alumni network and note when employees are looking for new opportunities. In the right circumstances, “boomerang” employees can be a fantastic way to deal with a talent shortage with this untapped labor pool.