How to Deal with Boomerang Employees


mistake-968334_1920It is no secret that the job market is changing and doing so at an ever-increasing speed. Some of it has to do with new technologies that allow for more comfortable recruitment and employee tracking processes and some of it has to do with new types of companies such as startups which are changing entire business paradigms.

One aspect of this changing job market is that employees feel less loyalty towards their employers than they had before. In 2015, Amanet did a survey which showed employers recognized this decline in loyalty and they were worried about it.

What Happened To Loyalty?

Believing there is only one reason why employees are becoming less and less loyal would probably be a mistake, as it is far more likely a combination of at least a few factors. For one, an increasing number of people are starting to see their career as the primary “entity” in their professional lives, not their company.

People have also become disenchanted and it has become harder than ever to sell them the “for the good of the company” line which worked much better when information was not as readily available as it is today. We have also mentioned the emergence of new kinds of companies such as startups which can be attractive even to people with steady jobs at established companies.

When you combine this with the age-old problem of less than spectacular managers and toxic bosses causing the employees to leave, you get a working population that is readier than ever before to look for greener pastures.

Boomerang Employees 101

Often times, these pastures turn out to be nowhere near as green as they looked from afar and when something like that happens, those same employees come back to the company they just left. These are your boomerang employees.

Simply put, boomerang employees are those who leave a company in order to pursue another career path only to return after some time, looking for their old job back.

Where to Start?

A huge part of how you as an employer are going to deal with a particular boomerang employee are the circumstances surrounding their departure from your company. For example, if they lashed out at management and other employees, berated the company or did something even worse, it is safe to say you will think at least twice before giving them a chance.

If they left amicably and it was a move that did not harm the company in a particularly nasty way, there is no reason why you would not give them a second chance.

Why Give them a Chance?

You might think that rehiring someone who left would be showing weakness, but nothing could be further from the truth. Unless they pulled a Kevin Spacey from American Beauty, that is.

For one, they will already have knowledge of the company, its culture and goals, as well as management and most of their old-new coworkers. They will also know their old-new role and even if they are rehired in a new role, they will be able to hit the ground running at a faster pace than completely new hires.

In addition to this, someone coming back can be a huge boost for the morale in the workplace as your company is immediately seen as a place where people are glad to return after trying their hand at something else.

Being Consistent

Of course, you will never want to rehire someone just because they came back, especially if some time has passed and you are interviewing other people for the position. They should not get any kind of preferential treatment and should go through the entire hiring process, just like everyone else. There are some exemptions to this rule, like with super high-up managerial talent or someone who indebted the company greatly.

Closing Word

In short, do not write off the practice of hiring boomerang employees just because you feel it might show weakness. Stay consistent, think long and hard about what the boomerang employee might provide for your company and unless their departure was particularly gruesome, hire them.

In the world where talent is harder and harder to come by, employees who are willing to come back can be a huge asset.

Ashley Morgan

Author: Ashley Morgan

Ashley is the Director of Marketing at HiringThing, an award-winner online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.