Boomerang employees: meaning, pros and cons of hiring them

Boomerang employees strengthen employer branding in the context of recruiting and team loyalty. Can lead to a lack of innovation....
11 June 2024

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Boomerang employees: meaning, pros and cons of hiring them

Boomerang employees strengthen employer branding in the context of recruiting and team loyalty. Can lead to a lack of innovation.

In the wake of The Great Resignation that occurred in the wake of the pandemic, employees seeking to return to their former jobs is defined as a growing trend.

Since hiring boomerang employees has its pros and cons, let’s delve into them as well as the definition of this movement.

Boomerang employees: meaning, pros and cons of hiring them

Boomerang employees meaning

Boomerang employees meaning refers to those who, after leaving the company at some point of time, return to the company for various reasons.

Until the Big Quit phenomenon that occurred in the spring of 2021, boomerang employees have been growing until today by modifying HR strategies to adapt to the new times.

The Big Quit or Great Resignation brings with it regret or the possibility of a new professional fit for a part of these employees who, after leaving the company, wish to return for various reasons, such as the following:

  • Loss of security in the family environment. 
  • Disappointment with the target company when they left. 
  • Changing market trends that increase the attractiveness of their former company.
  • Recovery from a personal situation that forced them to leave their job.

Human resources (HR) professionals generally advise being open to boomerang employees, while weighing the pros and cons of these profiles in the hiring process.

Boomerang employees strengthen employer branding

The pros and cons of boomerang employees

Hiring boomerang employees offers strategic advantages for companies, as you will discover in the following points, but it also brings disadvantages that you should be aware of.

Benefits of boomerang employees

The advantages of boomerang employees are the following:

  1. They lead to cost savings in recruiting. The selection process of former employees is faster because you know their skills, abilities and competencies and can project their potential growth within the company. 
  2. They enable faster onboarding. These employees require less training time to become operational, in addition to being familiar with the company’s culture and products and services.
  3. Improve employer branding. The fact that a company reconsiders hiring boomerang employees sends an image of trust to its employees, demonstrating that it is committed to them and their career plan. The result is the consolidation of the employees engagement, as well as their reinstatement.

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Downside of boomerang employees

In addition to the pros, the cons of hiring boomerang employees are also important and should be taken into consideration to improve the success rate of the hire.

We have compiled the most important ones in the following list:

  • Workplace conflicts. Hiring back someone who has had a problem with a manager or coworker can create tensions that strain the work environment and undermine productivity. It is therefore necessary to analyze the circumstances of their departure and their past performance.
  • Loss of talent and innovation. The process of rehiring former employees can exclude more qualified talent that can bring new perspectives, innovation and progress to the company. It all depends on the nature of the responsibilities they are taking on. 
  • Changes in their expectations and motivations. Keep in mind that an employee may return to a company out of desperation, which can translate into short-term abandonment or neglect of their duties.

Good boomerang employees

Given the above scenario, the question arises: do good boomerang employees exist?

The answer is yes, and you can find them by following these guidelines:

  • Try to focus on employees who left the company on good terms. 
  • Prioritize employees who left because they had to deal with family situations that required their full attention.
  • Recover the best talents who were victims of the staffing adjustments necessary for the company’s survival during the pandemic, for example. 
  • Identify the profiles that left the company to acquire specific experience, as they can bring great value to your project. 
How to recruit and onboard boomerang employees

How to recruit and onboard boomerang employees

Finally, here are a few tips on how to recruit and onboard boomerang employees that will help you increase the success rate of the process and reduce the turnover rate once they are onboarded:

  • Conduct a predeparture analysis of the employee’s performance in the company, their skills and competencies, their relationship with the environment and their respect for the company culture. 
  • Adapt the hiring process to the boomerang employees’ state of mind, using HR tools such as motivational interviewing to identify their expectations and see if the company can respond satisfactorily.
  • Adapt the onboarding plan according to the employees’ time away from the company, validate their new skills and ensure that they are adequately trained in new procedures, if any.
  • Create a development plan tailored to their profile to improve their employee experience and help build a solid long-term relationship between them and the company. 
  • Ask for their feedback on a regular basis through one-on-one meetings to address their concerns, doubts, etc. 

It is a good idea to create a good boomerang employee pool for your company that you keep active with the intention of creating an informed and valuable talent community.

When it comes to customizing recruitment for boomerang employees, you can automate part of the process and speed it up thanks to technology and remote assessments.

At Smowltech, we have been providing our clients for years with customizable proctoring plans, creating secure remote monitoring environments that are respectful of your employees and candidates.

This way, from the very beginning, you will establish a beneficial relationship of trust with the most talented profiles that your project requires.Don’t wait any longer and request a free demo to discover the solutions we can provide for your project.


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