Once upon a time, employees and employers mated for life. Anything less would have been seen as disloyal - perhaps even traitorous. But with Millennials comprising such a large portion of the workforce, the shift from job to job has become far more commonplace. Additionally, the exit of Baby Boomer employees has the potential to create 10,000 jobs per day. Factor in the thousands of dollars it takes to recruit, hire, and train a new employee and the future of the workforce starts to look bleak.
Fortunately for hiring managers and cost-cutters everywhere, there is a relatively untapped market and I’m not talking about the incoming Gen Z. Behold the Boomerang. A boomerang employee is one who left amicably in the past and now is considering, or being considered for, a rehire. In the bygone times of eternal loyalty, many companies actually implemented policies that prohibited boomeranging. But the fact is, acquiring a brand-new employee is both time-consuming and expensive. It might be time to consider the value of the former employee.
Did you know it costs half as much to rehire an ex-employee than it does to hire a new one? There are the obvious upfront costs of recruitment and the administrative hours that work entails. But the onboarding costs can be exorbitant, particularly for industries that require training and certifications. On average, organizations with over 100 employees budget an average of $124,560 for onboarding annually. Opting for a candidate who requires no training or advanced preparation could save thousands, even for a smaller business.
Boomerang employees have been there and done that. Literally. Unlike someone unfamiliar with your business, a former employee can say with certainty that they fit in with the company’s culture. They are aware of important internal systems and the organization’s service model. The acclimation process is reduced nearly to nothing which means your bottom line sees results faster. Due to familiarity and decreased training time, rehires are 40% more productive in their first quarter than new hires.
New people mean new ideas, true. But even old employees can come with fresh perspectives. In fact, their increased experience in the field could contribute a significant competitive edge. Their awareness of your company made them particularly adept at gathering competitive intelligence while they searched for greener pastures. They are also seeing a familiar place with fresh eyes. They may be able to more easily detect what is working at your company and what could be better.
Not only are rehires more likely to stay on longer than new hires, but a rehire shows both current and potential employees that your business is worth working for. Plainly put, you’ve got the greenest grass in town, and these potential re-hires know it. Furthermore, they will be easier to retain since they’ve already seen what else is out there for them. This, in turn, may inspire existing employees to stay put knowing that former employees are asking to return after choosing to leave.
Hiring a former employee doesn’t mean settling for less. They should still be subject to a thorough, professional interview. Find out what new insights they have gained since leaving the company, and how they plan to put those experiences to work for you. Ask them specific questions about why they left the first time and why they want to come back. If the former employee is no longer a good fit, you’ve risked nothing and can move on to recruiting new candidates. But if it turns out this boomerang is one worth catching, you’ll have saved significant time and money.
Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.
This article was written by E.C. Power.
E.C. Power is a freelance writer, avid coffee drinker, and compulsive list maker. She has a degree in Accounting and is now working on a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford University. She is currently working on her debut novel in New Jersey, where she lives with her family.