If you've ever lost an employee and wished they'd come back to work for you, there may still be hope. According to NewsOK, Accountemps found that 63 percent of people would consider returning to a former employer. However, it would take a higher salary, better growth opportunities and flextime options to get them back.
In the current talent shortage, these so-called "boomerang" employees should be high priority targets for your recruitment team.
The Potential Advantages of Former Employees
Rehiring former employees can have several advantages. First, the person is familiar with your operation, culture and customers. Depending on how long ago the person left and how much has changed at your organization, the onboarding and training process could be a breeze. Rehired employees can likely start making contributions to the team right away, which can save time and boost productivity.
A rehired employee may also have gained new skills after they left your organization. Perhaps they've received additional training during their time away or have earned a certification that can benefit your organization.
If the former employee was well liked, rehiring them could also boost the morale of your team. Accountemps found that 28 percent of employees who left a job regretted it because they valued their colleagues and friends at the organization. Further, 20 percent admit leaving behind great bosses and mentors. Getting a beloved team member back could energize everyone's sense of camaraderie.
A final advantage is increased insight in the hiring process. Since you've already worked with the employee, you know how they perform. You are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and rehiring them is less risky than choosing a candidate with whom you've had no personal experience.
The Potential Drawbacks of Former Employees
On the other hand, there could be challenges when it comes to welcoming back a former employee. The first one hits your budget, as the former employee will have expectations and desires, and one of those will likely be a larger salary.
You also may have to revisit the reason the person left. Were there personnel or management issues? If these items weren't resolved, they could quickly resurface when the employee returns. If your organization has changed a lot since the person left, entering your workforce again might also come with a learning curve. The employee might expect certain policies or procedures to still be in place, and getting used to new ways of doing business might be met with resistance. Be upfront about your new policies and procedures.
You must also consider how your current team will feel about the former employee returning. If someone who was previously senior to the person must now report to them, you could be in store for some conflict. Explain to your team why you're rehiring former employees, and share any new skills or benefits the person brings upon their return.
Finally, a boomerang employee might present a higher turnover risk than a new candidate. If they left once, there's no guarantee they won't do it again — so find out the reason why they want to return. You want to gauge their commitment so you don't install a revolving door.
Before rehiring former employees, consider the advantages and the drawbacks so you can make the best hiring decision. You want a win-win situation for your entire team, and boomerang employees may be just that.
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