Why employers should recruit boomerang candidates



What is a boomerang candidate?  Someone who has left a company (or sometimes in our case left a jurisdiction), worked somewhere else for a while, realised that the grass is not greener and comes back.  The comeback kids.  And they are in good company, think Steve Jobs.

We often discuss boomerang candidates, whether in the context of talking about the benefits of an offshore move to a prospective candidate, or to a client that is receiving an increasing number of applications from boomerang candidates.

Statistics show that employees are increasingly willing to return to a previous employer, particularly millennials.  There are several reasons why it makes good business sense for employers to not completely shut the door and actively recruit past top performers.

Retention rates for returning employees is often higher than a ‘new recruit’.  Once an employee has made the decision to return to a previous employer they are less likely to move on again.

Boomerang candidates are often quicker and cheaper to recruit.  Social media and alumni groups are cheap and effective at increasing the connection between employees and former employers.  Familiarity on both sides speeds up the interview and selection process, in some cases firms are aiming to complete this process within one day for returning candidates.  Employers get the added benefit of recouping some of the investment (training and development) already made in a returning employee.

Former employees become productive quicker.  Knowledge of the firm, processes, culture and in our situation of the island, enables boomerang candidates (and their families) to assimilate much faster.  New skills and relationships developed when an employee left an organisation will now be brought back to the table to be leveraged in their current role.

Boomerang candidates are an excellent resource for employee retention and engagement.  Showcasing the stories of returning employees is a very powerful method of growing employer brand.

If morale was negatively impacted when an individual left the building, the reverse effect can be expected when the team sees that person returns.  Happy days!

Of course success is not guaranteed, employers must make sure that whatever the factors were that led to the employee leaving in the first place have been resolved.  This means having the processes in place to find out what those issues were and to be able to have a candid discussion about those issues.  It is highly unlikely that someone would be returning to exactly the same situation they left, leadership may have changed, the role will be different, market conditions will have altered, both sides need to make sure the current fit is a good one and that expectations are clear.

If you are thinking of leaving your current role, do so on good terms and maintains relationships, you never know what the future holds.  Likewise for employers, don’t bite your nose off to spite your face, former employees are a great talent pool to recruit from with huge benefits.

Feel free to contact us at Highbury Consulting to discuss any of your recruitment needs Cayman: +1 345 3280555 London: +44 (0)20 8144 4576.
Email: info@highburyconsulting.com

Your journey begins here. 

Leave a Comment