A boomerang employee is someone who has voluntarily left the job for a time period or entirely but chooses to return to the former employer. For a certain time, there was a stigma about such employees. However, companies are accepting boomerang employees on specific grounds, and people are seeing the effects of it.
Why Do Boomerang Employees Leave Their Work?
Sometimes, employees leave their work temporarily to pursue higher studies. This can be for job training, learning new skills, or personal growth. People also leave a company to explore other industries in search of their passion.
Employees also leave a company to become seasonal employees or pursue remote careers, such as freelancing. They can also leave their job to focus on something major, such as pregnancy and child-rearing, relocation of their family, nursing a family member, or for their own medical conditions.
Why Do They Come Back to the Company?
Employees who have left a company know their former employers well enough and may have developed a close relationship with their former colleagues. The environment is familiar to them, and they know the nature of the job and how things work in the company. These things give them a sense of comfort, making them come back to their former employer.
Sometimes, employers call their former employees and ask them to start working in their company again. That, of course, comes with certain conditions from both the employer and the boomerang employee.
Why are Boomerang Employees Important for a Company?
Bringing back employees who left on good terms can be suitable for the company. Here are some of the pros of bringing back former employees:
They know their previous employers well enough and are familiar with the company and most people.
Having a boomerang employee can attract new talent.
Since they’re experienced, they’ll perform better and add value to the company, especially when it comes to training new recruits. They may be the talent pool the company requires the most.
They don’t need any onboarding period or training cost if they return to the same position. And if they return to a senior position, they’ll be able to succeed faster.
Everyone in the company, from the employers to the colleagues, will know what to expect from the boomerang employee.
Employers can expect loyalty from boomerang employees.
Having a returning employee can uplift the company's brand image, demonstrating that they have come back for good reasons and the company values its employees.
What Challenges Can a Company Face by Rehiring Them?
There will always be some drawbacks to rehiring former employees. Here are some of them:
Former employees may ask for a bigger raise if they come back to their old position or may ask for a promotion in the company.
The company may risk overlooking better candidates when hiring former employees due to their relationship with the workplace.
They may lack commitment and leave the company again, risking its progress.
There may be unresolved workplace drama.
The boomerang employee may have developed traits that may not be suitable for the old workplace.
They may be qualified enough but lack the enthusiasm to work, especially if they start feeling too comfortable.
They may lack knowledge in certain things, especially if they have returned to the company after years. It may be difficult for them to accept and adapt to new challenges and lessons.
Which Questions Can Be Asked When Interviewing Boomerang Employees?
If an employee wishes to boomerang, be sure to ask questions like:
“Why did you leave the company previously?”
“Have you achieved something or learned new skills while you were away?”
“Do you have any unresolved issues with your former employer?”
“How well do you remember our company? Are you aware of any policy changes?”
“Have you been employed elsewhere after you left this company? What was your position, and what experience have you gained?”
“What value can you add to the table as a former employee of this company?”