Employees – Boomerangs: a few reasons to accept decent former employees back.

Aug 11, 2017

The decision to hire back the individuals who have already left your organization is never easy, however the number of companies that accept decent former employees back increases. Why?
At Andersen, we realize the importance of this problem on the IT market and would like to study the question and find out the world experts’ opinion.
Hiring people back is not anymore unacceptable as it used to be. The report by the consulting and report company WorkplaceTrends.com and in particular the company’s department Workforce Institute Kronos shows that it’s a frequent activity to hire the employees “coming back as boomerangs”.

Almost a half of the interviewed HR’s stated that there used to be a ban to hire back former employees in their organizations (even if they were of high standing). Currently, 76% indicate quite a loyal company’s attitude towards employees-boomerangs.

Managers agree. Almost two-thirds are ready to hire back former colleagues. Though, there are only 15% of employees who declared their return to the former employer. However, almost 40% are ready to support this idea.

Efficient “exes” are popular

For the last years, 85% of HR’s have been receiving requests from former employees to hire them back, and in 40% of cases, the requests have been satisfied. It’s not a surprise that the number is that high because both the HR’s and the managers indicate priority considering the applications from their former employees, with whom they remain in good relations.

The priority is given to the former employees, however, it makes more pressure on the tough labor market. “Every year candidates on the labor market face more and more difficulties,” Dan Schawbel says, the head and the founder of WorkPlace.com, who’s also the author of consulting programs in labor forces management. “Some companies, admitting talented exes, account to get competitive advantages; others intend to close a gap that appears because of lack of employees with sufficient qualification level.”

Intelligent Choice

The option with lowest risks is not always the best choice. “Sometimes you feel like hiring someone who’s never worked for you, he/she has fresh and innovative prospects and comes with new ideas and mentality,” Dave Almeda says, the head of HR department Knoros. “Besides, you shouldn’t accept back all the former employees. We mean only the most efficient. After all, you owe them nothing. It makes sense to take back only the ones who have made a significant impact into your organization strengthening and apart from fulfilling general responsibilities, has helped you get additional values.”

Adaptation Time Reduction

The returning employees are already familiar with the culture in the organization, and it becomes one of the main advantages. Both HR’s and managers agree that being familiar with corporate culture is the most important argument to accept the former company’s member of personnel back. Almost one-third of respondents admit that expenses for their training will turn to be lower than for new personnel.

Reducing Risks

In many organizations, the knowledge, skills and cultural identity possessed by employees-boomerangs are highly estimated. “Boomerangs reduce risks almost entirely,” Almeda says. “In some cases, the ones who return after having worked at rivals’ or who used to work as advisers can bring important information for the industry.”

“Employing its personnel, enterprizes strive to avoid risks,” Schawbel says. “Even the ones who left the company and possess good skills, reputation and service record, deliver fewer risks to the company. They are easier to be trained, they are familiar with the corporate culture and work efficiently starting from the first day.”

The Right Message

Corporate culture and professional skills play an important role, however, boomeranging employees give one more advantage. It’s a Spiritual Rise “When the leading talents leave, the rest personnel feels frustration,” Almeda says. “They start looking for the reason either it’s been planned to fire more employees or the company’s situation is unstable. Once the talents return, the others get additional confirmation that they are safe at work.”

Alma-Mater Strategy

Companies intending to get additional benefits from “boomerangs” must support relations with leading professionals who have left the organization. An appropriate strategy should be developed. Despite the fact that boomerangs are often accepted back, 80% of the respondents say that their employer has no strategy to stimulate the ones who are left, and 64% say there’s no strategy maintaining relations with former employees.

“Modern technologies and social networks simplify keeping in contact with former employees at minimal cost,” says Schawbel. “It can be maintained through groups in Facebook and LinkedIn. The news digest and other means of communication are not expensive or even free of charge.”

Early Start

Trust-based contacts with colleagues should be established in advance before they become “former”, and here the relations between managers and employees play an important role.

“I’ll try to create the environment the people don’t want to leave but in case they do, we are not going to break up with them,” Almeda confesses. “In case the relations between managers and other personnel are correct and they frankly show interest towards each other, if they consist of trust and respect, the one who’s left is very likely to come back one day.”

Unfortunately, some experts give examples when employees come back and leave again because the attitude towards them is preconceived. It happens that people leave repeatedly derailing current tasks fulfillment because they cannot change the existing order and the managing directors don’t intend to support their interest and solve the chronic problem in relations. Later, such managers can be removed and former employees come back to work under the supervision of other managers, with better administrating skills. Or they might occupy these positions themselves. It happens too.
Anyway, both the sides should benefit from such a decision. However, to achieve it, the company’s management should clearly arrange the dismissal process with an obligatory interview, the reasons for leaving and the company’s attitude towards accepting back the left employees. If the employee is hired back, the experts suggest that there should be arranged a range of control events for the returning employee to get used again to the current situation in the company. The company’s and the employee’s expectation should be articulated at the interview openly and honestly.

It is important to ask the former employee and yourself a couple of questions:

Why did he decide to come back? Why did they leave you that day and your rivals today? If you find the answers insufficient, let the “boomerang” fly by.

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