How to Rehire Boomerang Employees as Part of your Talent Management Program

Actual Comments on Why Employees Leave:
“I left to pursue my dream of travel nursing. I loved working for this organization and hope to come back and work there again someday. I always recommend this organization to people as a great place to be a nurse.”

The Solution
When organizations think of the potential sources of talent, they often miss the most obvious – former employees. Referred to as “boomerang” employees, former employees who left on good terms can be a valuable staffing resource, especially for openings requiring higher level or specialty skills. For some organizations, the thought of rehiring a “traitor” or someone who left for greener pastures is unheard of. Personally, I remember looking at resumes to determine if the candidate was a “job hopper” and would not recommend someone who worked for more than 1 – 2 employers over a 10 – 15 year period.

The world has changed and so has the world of talent management. The fact of the matter is there is a good return on recruiting investment for employers who can get beyond the “traitor” syndrome and view boomerang employees as “alumni”. Generally speaking, boomerang employees cost less to hire, train, and assimilate into the organization.

So, what do you need to think about when hiring a boomerang?

• The decision to rehire an employee should be based on hiring the most qualified candidate and you should approach boomerang employees as you would unknown candidates. Focus on those with outstanding performance records, check professional references, administer skills test to ensure their knowledge is up to date, and ask the tough questions.
• Remember the person left for a reason. Be sure that any issues that caused the person to leave have been resolved or are no longer present.
• How much change has occurred since the person left? It could be that so much change has taken place that the reintegration may not be very easy.
• Evaluate how existing employees will think about a former employee rejoining the team.

How do you tap the boomerang employee resource pool as part of your talent management program?

• Many organizations now have formal alumni networks. Earlier corporate alumni networks were mostly social in nature but now many have updated their alumni network to build better relationships and identify possible rehires.
Exit interviews are also a good way to probe why good employees are leaving and identify possible return talent. After identifying potential rehires, the data can be linked to recruiting databases and applicant tracking systems.
• Managers can keep in touch with former employees. Research continues to support that one-on-one networking is the most effective way for former employees and employers to connect.

Good managers are always on the hunt for good talent and a successful talent management program should be open to new ideas. Including boomerang employees in your organization’s talent management tool kit is a way to get a leg up on the competition.

(This blog post brought to you by HSD Metrics, an exit interview company that helps companies reduce employee turnover by providing automated reference checking, exit interviews, and by measuring employee retention. The comments from exiting employees that are featured in this blog are collected from actual exit interviews conducted using ExitRight, HSD’s exit interviewing service. Because we place the privacy of our clients at the top of our priority list; the names of all involved parties are kept completely confidential. Check our blog often for posts like this, to reduce employee turnover within your organization. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today.)