As the generation replacing the more stable baby boomers, millennials have earned themselves the tag of being flighty. That being said, some yearn to rejoin a former place of work, especially ones where they continue to remain on good terms with managers and ex-colleagues alike.
In a phenomenon known as the boomerang talent, businesses are increasingly tapping into this valuable pool of experience. And while employees who were terminated due to prior misdemeanors would not be looked at favorably, an interesting trend observed by Times Jobs is that 85% of employers are rehiring ex-employees who have proven their calibre.
Here are the benefits you get from having employees boomeranging back to you;
a. Skills diversification
Employees who return would have grown considerably since the time that they left you. Whether it is through occupying a higher position or adding more, and new skills to their existing array, boomerang employees would have worked on diverse projects that let you leverage multiple work perspectives.
With a resource management tool to sight these skills, you can identify and staff cross departmental projects that need people with the requisite skills and leadership experience. This lets them add new, and more skills to the array of competencies your firm can leverage.
b. Shorter hiring cycles
The proverbial ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ rings true here. A boomerang hire might have outgrown your firm at some point, but one of the reasons they return is the appeal of working in a familiar environment, surrounded by people and systems they’ve worked with before. While rehires would still have to be interviewed, this time, you have the advantage of knowing their personalities and responses to cultural-fit questions.
In fact, the time to review their profile and carry out background checks is less, considering you already have their information on file, as well as input from the manager or supervisor they worked for.
c. Establishes goodwill
Opportunities do knock twice. And being the person to offer that second chance lets former employees realize just how valuable they were to your firm. Even if they choose not to work for you, they are more likely to refer someone from their professional network to your business, who is better suited to the vacancy advertised.
This gives you an additional applicant stream to pick from, saving you money that would have gone on sourcing new profiles through external recruitment agencies.
d. Grows customer base
Rehiring employees who worked in sales and account based marketing is an effective sales connection strategy to tap into a wider customer base. Having established a rapport with an existing clientele list, boomerang workers can pick up where they left off and cultivate the nurture cycle such that word of your product and service quality travels from an existing customer to the next one.
When the market sees that people are coming back to work for you, it leaves a lasting impression on your reputation as an employer.
e. Expedites performance appraisals
It’s easier to award incentives and promotions to rehires, given what you know of their previous work, and how they’re leveraging the skills acquired in their new position. By participating in mentorship programs, they’re even in the position to bridge gaps in the learning curve for a graduate hire, co-worker or junior subordinate.
Consequently you can build up their capabilities and find everyone an optimal quantity of projects to work on. What’s more, giving true potential the platform to shine on keeps them engaged and productive.
While you can’t club all former employees into a single pool, it’s worth knowing who to pick from the list of rehires expressing their interest to rejoin the firm. These include –
a. Voluntary resignation– The traditional exit, where employees left in favor of better pay, higher authority or to take up a sabbatical.
b. Ex-retirees– A former workforce set who wish to come out of retirement and make use of their time constructively by giving expert counsel on niche areas.
c. Runners up in the previous applicant pool– People who are demonstrably competent and next in line for a promotion.
d. Rebound contractors and freelancers – A talent market that has done diverse projects, both in scale and complexity and knows how your firm operates.
e. Former interns– Promising graduates who shadowed senior employees and were adept at absorbing information and performance feedback.
The idea is to ensure workforce productivity doesn’t suffer as teams grow and get repurposed. Let us know how useful this post was in your decision to go ahead and rehire!
Mahendra Gupta is a certified PMP professional with over a decade’s worth of experience as Director for Saviom Software. He has several articles on resource management and project planning to his credit, and can be reached out to, here.