I wanted to revisit the subject of hiring boomerang employees. In my post How to Hire Backwards with Boomerang Employees I talked about the positives of hiring former employees and how many companies today are realizing that they may be a very good deal. They are a cheaper hire, they are more quickly productive and they have had the benefit of some other experience that may be of value to the organization.
Not All “Boomerang” Hires Return with Equal Ease
Not everyone is suited to be a boomerang employee. You certainly don’t want to rehire someone who left under these circumstances:
- They were fired
- They were incompetent
- They could not get along with management (unless management was at fault and they are no longer with the company)
- They were unproductive
Remember just because someone used to work for you does not automatically make them the best candidate. You still need to evaluate them given the current set of circumstances and judge them against other candidates, but they certainly will have many positives in their favor.
Is There a Type of Position that is Better for a “Boomerang” Employee?
In the comment section for the last post Tracy asked “Many in the restaurant and hospitality industry shy away from rehires due to LOWER retention rates of the boomerang employee. I wonder is it a difference in the industry or maybe having to do with exempt and non-exempt (hourly) positions. Any insights?” I can’t see why the industry would matter, but I do think that the exempt versus nonexempt status may make a difference, especially in an industry like the restaurant business. Hourly employees often leave jobs for things like more money or a bad boss, not to say that exempt employees don’t, but a salaried exempt employee may be more likely to leave for a challenge, or a chance to be an entrepreneur, or a physical move. In the hourly employee the reason for the dissatisfaction they had before may not have changed and thus bring them back is not going to offer anything different. As a result they may be just as likely to leave in the future.
Going off for a new challenge or a chance to start a business or to move to another locale my produce a “brown grass” situation, where that new situation was not as “green” as they thought it was going to be. That employee may be less likely to go off in the future because they took their shot and had a dose of reality. They come back to the company with a different outlook and perhaps some good experience to offer. The fact that they come back is a signal to others that the company is much better than they thought and may increase retention of other employees who might have had similar inclinations.
There appear to be more positives than negatives
Looking at various posts and articles on boomerang employees there appear to be more positives to hiring back than there are negatives. Here are some of those posts for you to read:
Ex-Employees: The Rehire Metric
You can measure how you are doing with boomerangs with the following formula:
Rehires as a percentage of total external hires.
Rehires / External Hires * 100
The quality of boomerangs and those ex-employees who are eligible for re-hire will be gauged on following their performance evaluations. Follow these if you want to make your case for catching the boomerangs.