Understanding Boomerang Employees and How They Can Benefit Your Company

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Allie Blackham

Marketing Content Manager

The phenomenon known as “the great resignation” emerged as a significant consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its onset in 2021. This period was marked by an unprecedented wave of resignations—over 50 million workers chose to leave their jobs voluntarily. This mass exodus created a frantic search for talent across industries.

Key drivers behind this mass departure included a quest for more flexibility, such as adaptable work schedules, the option for remote or hybrid work environments, and the pursuit of better compensation. However, a notable portion of these individuals later experienced regret over their decision, leading them to seek reemployment with their former employers.

We’re delving deeper into the reasons behind boomerang employees’ desires to return, considerations for employers, and the advantages of re-integrating these individuals back into the workforce.

Defining a ‘Boomerang’ Employee

A “boomerang employee” is someone who leaves an organization only to return at a later date. Given that the average tenure at a company is around five years, it’s plausible for employees to consider returning to a previous employer at some point in their 40-year career span.

Reasons for Returning to Former Employers

Many individuals who resign from their jobs come to believe that their former position was superior to their current situation. This realization often fuels a desire to return, which can positively impact morale and strengthen the organization’s culture.

Decisions to return can also be influenced by changes in personal circumstances, such as starting a family, needing to care for a sick relative, exploring different industries, pursuing passions, working seasonally, or relocating for various preferences. These complex reasons for leaving a job contribute to the phenomenon of boomerang employees.

Advantages of Welcoming Back Former Employees

Welcoming back former team members can offer several benefits, including:

  • Alignment with the company culture from day one
  • A more streamlined onboarding process
  • An understanding of job expectations and responsibilities
  • Established relationships that can enhance retention and loyalty
  • New perspectives and skills that enrich the company

What to Consider Before Rehiring Boomerang Employees

However, not all former employees may be suitable for rehire. It’s important to evaluate what they can bring to the table and whether their return will be advantageous to the organization.

Potential issues may arise if an employee departed under unfavorable circumstances, as their return could stir up past tensions. This is true even for remote workers who may face challenges in collaborative or delegated tasks if the returning individual had previously expressed negative sentiments or engaged in harmful behaviors.

Before deciding, it’s wise to assess other candidates to ensure that the returning employee is indeed the best fit. It’s also crucial to understand the reasons behind their initial departure to gauge whether they will be content and remain with the company.

Leveraging WorkforceHub for Your Hiring Needs

Whether opting to rehire boomerang employees or seeking new talent, the hiring tools built into WorkforceHub facilitate a smoother hiring process. With features that streamline communication with candidates and share job openings across multiple platforms with just one click, you can easily find and bring on qualified individuals.

Embrace these and other features designed to enhance your recruiting and onboarding efforts by starting your free trial of WorkforceHub.

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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