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Boomerang Employees: Would You Welcome Them?

Although many companies have strict policies against re-hiring employees who left, a growing number of employers are expressing a change of heart and letting these workers, boomerang employees, back into the fold.
Boomerang Employees: Would You Welcome Them?

Would You Welcome Boomerang Employees To Your Company? 

In fact, the Corporate Culture and Boomerang Employee Study released in the fall of 2015 unveiled a new human resources trend. Essentially, staying engaged with employees does not end the day they walk out the door especially if the employee is a high performer. The study, the first of an Employee Engagement Series undertaken by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc. and WorkplaceTrends.Com, surveyed 1,800 human resources professionals, managers, and employees for their take on boomerang employees. The latter were defined as those employees who leave a company and return later.

Almost half of the HR respondents said their company previously had a policy to not rehire employees who left, even those who left in good standing. However, an astonishing 78 percent of the respondents said they are seeing some change: Νow 76 percent agree they are more accepting of these boomerang employees than they once were. Nearly two-thirds of managers said they would accept the idea of re-hiring someone now.

Only 15 percent of the people surveyed had actually boomeranged to a former employee, but 40 percent had open minds about returning at some point to a company where they had worked before. Of the various age groups surveyed, the Millennials seemed most apt to return, with 46 percent of them agreeing it was a possibility.

Eighty-five percent of Human Resources professionals said in the past five years they have received job applications from employees who had previously worked with their organization. Forty percent admitted they had hired about half of the former employees who applied.

What are the benefits that boomerang employees bring?

They are familiar with the corporate culture, product lines, industry knowledge, and certain processes. As one-third of the respondents pointed out, they don't require as much training.

But not everyone is keen on the idea. One-third of the Human Resources pros surveyed were still reluctant to embrace the return of employees who left, believing they would suffer from the stigma that they would likely leave again, and that they might still be carrying the “baggage” that prompted them to exit the firm in the first place.

An interesting part of the study focused on the many different ways Human Resources pros stay connected to former employees. They sometimes continue to email them newsletters or they keep up with them on social media, primarily Facebook, LinkedIn, and just basic email.

In an interview with Alina Tugend of The New York Times on the subject a year earlier, Brian Swider, an assistant professor of business at Georgia Institute of Technology, suggested one reason people may be more accepting of boomerang employees today is that the old idea of loyalty in the workplace has evolved. Now that it is customary for more employees to change jobs and engage in new career paths more frequently than in previous generations, people have gotten used to the idea of worker mobility and their leaving is not interpreted as a betrayal of loyalty.

Let us know what your views are on boomerang employees in the comments section below.

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