Imagine a scenario: The best performing employee of your organization leaves the job for the sake of a better opportunity. Several months later you receive a call from them. It turns out they are not very happy with their current job and want to come back to the post they left vacant earlier. Would you reconsider the employee again for the position or for any other position in your organization?
A decade ago, HR managers would have definitely denied them the opportunity. But, today the recruitment scenario is such that human resource professionals are finding it difficult to find talented candidates as majority of them are already placed somewhere. The candidate driven market is the major reason for the shift in thinking. According to a survey conducted by Workplace Trends in Year 2015, “76% of HR professionals say they are more likely to hire these “boomerang employees” now than in the past.”
How will you deal if you face a similar situation in your organization? To help you make a wise, informed decision, we have provided contrasting viewpoints dealing with this subject.
Hiring Boomerang Employees Is a Wise Strategy
We normally have the habit of ordering the same type of food while visiting our favorite food joint. You do not want to risk your appetite by trying something new when the food that you have tried and tested seems delicious. Boomerang employees are just like your favourite dish from the food joint. When you first try to search for candidates for the open position, you are never sure of the kind of quality that you are going to get. But, when you reconsider an ex-employee, you know what you can expect from them in terms of work performance. This brings us to the very first benefit of hiring boomerang employees in your organization:
1 The candidate is a known commodity for the organization
When you recruit a candidate from outside, there is always a doubt in the mind about the capability of the individual. You also need to conduct comprehensive pre-employment background check to ensure that you have found the right fit for the organization. This makes you spend lots of valuable time and money. But, when you are rehiring an individual you know the person inside and out. Even if the person is recruited for a different position the previous manager can let you know about the performance of the individual. In short, the candidate is a known commodity for the organization and there are no surprises involved.
2 Less time required to train the individual
There are certain positions in the organization that require the employee to have in-depth knowledge about the organizational culture and procedures. The added advantage of rehiring past employees is that they are aware about the organization more than the new hires. This saves lots of time and effort of the organization to train the individual. It also gives them an added advantage to perform much better in terms of productivity than their counterparts.
3 They are aware about the risks involved in the job
It is always a risky proposition to start a new job. But, if the person has already worked in the organization they know what to expect in the role. It is true that people change with time; but, in a large organization, the overall culture is very slow to change. They are already aware about the loopholes in the organization and are prepared to deal with it by coming back.
4 They have learned a new skill from another organization
People often leave organizations when there is less scope of promotion. When they work in another organization they acquire new skills which makes them qualified for a position that they were not qualified earlier. Thank the other organization for giving the opportunity to the individual to learn new skills that can be used to grow your organization. This is especially true in smaller organizations where there are not enough levels and departments to get adequate exposure.
If you are struggling to find a talented candidate to fill the vacant position in the organization, boomerang employees are your best resource.
Hiring Boomerang Employees Is a Choice Made in Hell
There is a good old saying “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me again, shame on me.” If an employee quits an organization once, there is always an impending risk that they will do it again. When that happens, you will back to square one, scrambling through applications to fill for the same vacancy. There is, therefore, always an apprehension in the back of the minds of recruiters when they rehire boomerang employees.
1 Reigniting Old Grudges
If the boomerang employee has old grudges with a coworker or manager and they are still there in the organization, it will be detrimental to your team interpersonal dynamics. Instead of burying the hatchet the internal feuds will get reignited which can have a major impact on the overall work environment.
2 Show stubbornness to follow old processes and systems
Within the duration when the boomerang employee was not present in the organizations, lots of things might have changed for the better. If they still cling on to the old processes and systems that they used to follow in their previous tenure, it will make it difficult for them to adapt to the new processes and systems. This will make them lag behind other co-workers.
3 Previous biases getting reconfirmed
Past employee selection can be based on biases of human resource managers. This can make them rehire boomerang employees when they might not always be the best choice. You might have missed out on a talented candidate in your applicant pipeline by subconsciously supporting the ex-worker.
4 Their reason for changing the job still remains prominent
Each and every employee leaves an organization for a definite reason. If the reason has still not been resolved, they can make the decision to resign again. It can be management policies, micro-management culture, or the organizational policies. Understand the primary reasons for the individual to leave the organization in the first place and then determine whether the issue has been resolved before rehiring them.
5 Asking for a better pay package and perks
Boomerang employees can ask for FMLA, pensions and other things which are not straightforward decisions to make for the management. They think of themselves as new hires and want to make the most out of the benefits and perks.
In the end, the ultimate decision on rehiring boomerang employees is totally dependent on you. There are risks as well as rewards in rehiring boomerang employees. But, before you implement this decision, it is important to make the such candidates follow the same interview process as the new hires. This will help you evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to internal and new applicants. By following this process, even if you take the decision of rehiring a boomerang employee, it would be based on the best possible talent available at the time of hiring.
cFIRST Think Tank is the team that researches and produces content for cFirst. This team comprises of seasoned content and digital design professionals and background screening industry veterans. Together we produce insightful blogs, infographics and reports meant for HR and background screening professionals.