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Becoming a Boomerang Employee

Thanks to the aftermath of the pandemic and its effects on the job market, there are many buzzwords we hear in today’s workplace that we haven’t encountered in the past. Likewise, the workforce evolves as employers and employees adjust to the new normal. With it comes phrases that fit into what we are all experiencing and the new concepts we’re adopting.

Some of these trendy buzzwords include:

Quiet Quitting – Doing the minimum required of a job and no more.

The Great Resignation – Ongoing trend where many employees voluntarily resign from their jobs simultaneously.

Copycat Layoffs – When companies see their competitors making job cuts and they follow suit. (see: Tech layoffs)

Rage Applying – People who apply to as many jobs as possible because they are unhappy with their current job and want a higher salary, a better schedule, different benefits, etc.

Quiet Hiring – Companies who fill spots/needs without hiring new employees, usually in the form of contractors or responsibility shifts.

And one buzzword that’s emerging and changing the game for both employers and employees is Boomerang Employee.

A boomerang employee is a worker who leaves a company and then returns. With the current landscape in today’s workforce, this has become a more common trend, with 15% of employees having boomeranged back to a former employer, 40% saying they would consider boomeranging back, and 76% of Human Resources professionals saying they are more open to hiring boomerang employees today than in the past.

Put yourself in the shoes of an HR manager who has a valued employee enter their office resignation letter in hand. It’s deflating to see a talented worker walk out, but also important to leave the door open for the possibility of return because there’s a benefit to waiting for the boomerang to make the turn.

  1. Onboarding Time and Cost Savings

When you re-hire a talented employee, you immediately save money and time on the onboarding process. Boomerang employees know the company’s operations, culture, and policies. They are also familiar with co-workers, meaning it will take less time to get them socially up-to-speed.

  1. More Loyalty

Whatever the reason an employee leaves, when they have the chance to see what else is out there, personally or professionally, and still choose to return, there’s a greater chance they will be more loyal the second time around.

  1. Turnover Reduction

Hiring back a former employee allows the employer to make themselves a desired landing spot for other valuable workers. This is done by conducting an exit interview upon re-entry. This will help to gain intel on how the company can remain competitive and help keep valued employees, reducing turnover and the costs that come with it.

With every pro, there can be a con, and a couple comes with hiring boomerang employees.

  1. Things Have Changed

Either you remember their job performance as being better than what you’re experiencing the second time, or things internally have changed with processes or operations, and the employee was expecting things to stay the same. Not the best fit for either party involved.

  1. Following Policies

Companies might handle vacation time or other benefits based on years of service. So before hiring an employee back, determine if those benefits are based on a continuous timeframe or total amount of service.

Good workers might leave a job for several reasons that have nothing to do with the actual company itself. And in time, situations might change, bringing them back to the company they initially chose to leave. So as an employer, it’s important to keep an open mind when you have an employee leave if you’re up to catching the boomerang.

Have you hired a boomerang employee? If so, how did that work out? Join the conversation on LinkedIn. Also, check out What to Expect if You Hire a Slasher.