Boomerang Employees: Could They Be GOOD For Your Business?

They say never go back, but more and more employees are now returning to their old stomping grounds. Can your firm benefit?

Boomerang Employees: Could They Be GOOD For Your Business?

When an employee chooses to leave a business and move on elsewhere, it’s understandable that many employers assume that this will be the last they see of them. Whether they’re parting on a positive note, due to a change in personal circumstances, or simply to advance their career, the rule of thumb has always tended to be that former employees aren’t rehired further down the line.

However, in a trend that’s becoming more popular in organisations across the UK, ex-employees are earning themselves the new title of ‘boomerang employee’. This comes as workers are increasingly returning to their former places of work, with reignited enthusiasm for their previous employer and a developed set of skills and experiences.

Of course, when you’re looking at rehiring an old employee, there are certain aspects to take into consideration. Did they leave on a sour note, or did they do a particularly good job of rocking the boat before they left? Alternatively, even if they did leave on a positive note, are you sure that they’re not harbouring any resentment or hard feelings towards you or your business? If you’re confident that none of this is an issue, then taking on a ‘boomerang-er’ could be a good move for your company.

So, while some business owners may still be of the opinion that once an employee leaves, that door is closed for good, the fact is that times are changing, and actually, boomerang employees could ultimately be good for your business.

If you’re still unsure as to whether a former worker could still be a good fit in your business, here’s what you need to consider.

You know they ‘get’ your culture

When you’re looking to bring a new employee into your business, it’s key that you find someone who fits with the culture, in addition to having all the necessary skills and experience. Hiring a member of staff who doesn’t gel with the rest of your workforce can be a real threat to morale within the workplace, and it could well cause even more problems further down the line.

If you’ve got a former employee who wants to re-join the company, it’s more than likely that they already fit in well with your workplace culture, and are keen to be involved again. If they were well liked during their time with you, got on with their colleagues and made a positive contribution to the working environment, hiring them back should be a no-brainer.

They’ll need less training

A new hire often requires a certain amount of time and leeway at the start of their employment at the company, as they get to grips with how things work, what the business stands for, and how things run on a daily basis. There’s usually some initial training required to get new starters up to speed, and a large chunk of this can often be avoided if you choose to bring a former employee back on board.

It shouldn’t be underestimated just how beneficial it can be that your ‘new’ hire already has a good grasp on your business; and if they’ve come back with a developed skill set and new experience under their belt, you’re likely to feel the positive impact of this sooner rather than later.

They could help drive engagement

If a former employee has expressed an interest in coming back to work for you, this is a sure-fire sign that they’ll be a positive addition to your business. Regardless of the fact that they left initially, their desire to return to you as an employer should highlight a sense of loyalty towards both you and your organisation; and this can be a great motivating force amongst your other employees.

By re-hiring someone who has a renewed passion for your business and its products and services, you will likely find that they can drive engagement and excitement across the team, and give morale a real boost. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s commonly acknowledged that happy staff stay put; keeping your retention rate high and your reputation as an employer strong.

Of course there will always be risks when it comes to boomerang employees, however, if you’ve maintained a positive relationship since they left and you believe they’ll be a good fit for the job in question, it’s well worth considering bringing them back on board.

Not only will you be securing someone who already knows about you and your business, but if they’re excited to work for you again then there’s a real chance that they’ll lift up those who work closely with them, leading to a happy and positive working environment for everyone.


Lee Biggins is the founder and managing director of CV-Library. Read his business owner profile here

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