Why it is beneficial to hire a returning employee

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The Great Resignation has brought new positions, possibilities, and career shifts to many people. Some even have named it the Great Reset.


As predicted and named in 2020 by Anthony Klotz, the great resignation is the result of poor working conditions, toxic workplaces, job insecurity, a lack of career advancement prospects, and a rethinking of personal and professional goals. 


However, with some workers realizing that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and wishing to return to their prior positions, the ‘Great Rehire’ could be upon us soon. These workers have earned the label “boomerang employees.” This is a trend that began in the aftermath of the pandemic. According to LinkedIn, boomerangs made up 4.5 % hires in 2021, up from 3.9% in 2019.


But why would they want to go back to a previous employment, and what are the advantages for firms who rehire former employees?


Why would a former employee want to go back to work?


Pay increase


Employees may realize that they can return to a better income or working conditions through negotiating. Boomerang employees are paid more than employees who never leave, according to statistics.


Situational factors


Workers are exhausted. They’re under stress. They’re more exhausted than they’ve ever been. Some employees resigned because they just needed a break. Rest and recalibration are totally reasonable reasons to step back from a job, whether it’s to rethink their personal life, their work-life balance, for their own mental health and welfare, or to care for a loved one. When that employee is recharged, he or she may be ready to return to the same job or firm.


It’s possible that the employee started a new job and disliked their new responsibilities, their new manager, their coworkers, or the business culture. It’s never appropriate to delve into this, but it happens frequently.


Perhaps a dedicated employee left due to personal circumstances that occurred suddenly, such as a family member moving and then being able to return. And, while we understand that employers dislike hearing this, it’s possible that the personal reason was that the employee didn’t enjoy their work. The worker may have then realized, as he or she was leaving, that it wasn’t so horrible after all.


Digital transformation and technology


Technology has allowed positions that were never previously considered remote to become remote in a matter of months.  If a person left a position because they wished to relocate, but their job was not previously supported in a remote location, and technology now allows them to do so, they may be motivated to return. The genie of remote employment has escaped the bottle. Digital nomadism takes various forms, and now that many organizations have the technology in place, employers can provide the flexibility that many workers seek to support their desired lifestyle.


Changes in the culture


Another reason for the employee’s return is that the company has gone to great lengths to improve the workplace and company culture during the employee’s absence, and can now provide benefits such as remote or hybrid working, for example. In some circumstances, a former employee may be enticed to return to an old workplace if the cultural transformation addressed issues that were a factor in their decision to leave.


The advantages for businesses


New recruits are outperformed by boomerangs


Over an eight-year period, Cornell contrasted the post-hire performance of 2,053 boomerang or returning employees with 10,858 new hires in a big health-care organization. Returning employees outperformed new hires, especially in tasks requiring “high degrees of administrative coordination,” according to the findings.


Returning employees bring with them familiarity with their previous function and firm, as well as valuable insights learned from their time working for competitors. This offers them an advantage over new workers who must learn new skills and specializations for their roles, which might take time.


Time and money are saved


As a result, rehires require less training and induction, saving time and money for firms. They are also less of a risk than a fresh recruit because they are familiar with the job and the team.


The significance of soft skills


When rehiring a former employee, a business looks for more than just expertise at a competitor. Boomerangs frequently return with more confidence and a broader skill set than if they had stayed in their previous employment. Boomerangs bring their freshly acquired experience with them and tend to return anew with helpful ideas and abilities that can benefit the entire organization, from interacting with managers to collaborating with coworkers.


Technical personnel


Technical positions might be difficult to fill. That is why it is typical in the IT business to rehire previous employees to fill technical roles because they already have the necessary experience and abilities. Researchers interviewed 39 boomerang IT employees in June 2021 and discovered that the majority of them were delighted with their positions when they returned because they were able to negotiate better terms and conditions.


Employer suggestions


Prepare to pay higher wages and provide additional benefits to returning staff.


However, be wary of rewarding loyalty by paying boomerangs more than current employees. You might want to reconsider your employee value proposition as well as your present benefits package for current employees.


Manage your company’s culture proactively


Things have changed a lot since the pandemic, and you’ll be better positioned to attract the top people if you provide incentives like flexibility, hybrid working, remote options, and workplace wellness programmes. A favorable business culture can also aid in employee retention and lower the danger of personnel loss (again).


Managing boomerang employees? See how HealthBoxHR can help your business manage new recruits with our Recruitment Management feature!

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