Should You Catch That Boomerang Employee Who Wants to Return?

Matt| January 11, 2016| Managers

Although there has been a great deal of stigma surrounding the rehiring of former employees, current trends within the job market are actually seeing an increase in acceptance of boomerang workers. According to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 65 percent of managers claim to be more accepting of boomerang employees than in the past. An additional 75 percent of HR workers agree.

One of the primary reasons for the sudden uptick in boomerang employees is due to today’s candidate-oriented job market. With a strong emphasis on top talent, many employers are able to quell past issues and release lingering animosity. However, this doesn’t mean you should take back every employee who returns to your doorstep. Instead, there are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether or not to accept the return of a boomerang employee.

Reasons for the Boomerang Employee

Fully consider the reasons behind an employee’s return. It is quite common for a staff member to leave their first company in order to pursue a better opportunity, only to return to the original company at a later date. When used effectively, new skills developed by the employee in question can be of great benefit to an organization. Conversely, the employee can profit from a promotion, increased compensation or additional benefits.

Other boomerang employees are forced to leave the workforce due to situations beyond their control.  If this is the case, try to be sympathetic with their situation. While it doesn’t mean you should immediately hire such individuals, they shouldn’t be outright disqualified.

The Employee’s Reputation

Another factor to consider is the reputation of the boomerang employee in question. If the worker has boomeranged back to your company on several occasions, it might be better off for both of you to move on. However, if this employee can bring new or valuable skills to the table, you may want to consider offering them another chance. These types of boomerang employees should be carefully evaluated on a day-by-day basis.

Boomerang Employees in the Temporary Workforce

While there are plenty of individuals who move between permanent jobs on a regular basis, the temporary workforce tends to see a greater number of boomerang employees. The sheer nature of contingent staff members lends itself to changing jobs and, in many cases, returning to past roles. In this scenario, a company should take into account the worker’s past performance, their original reason for leaving and current staffing needs. If everything aligns, rehiring boomerang employees to fill temporary roles can be a highly efficient and productive practice.

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