Let’s chat about boomerang employees.
Because the Great Rehire–the period following the Great Resignation, during which candidates will suddenly start applying to jobs in the truckloads–is coming. Our recent CareerArc/Harris Poll survey showed that 6 out of 10 employed Americans who plan to quit in the next 12 months started job are job hunting between now and February.
And if now’s the time candidates are going to be applying more, then now’s the time to start attracting boomerang employees.
Why rehire boomerang employees?
There are a lot of benefits to hiring boomerang employees. Like:
- They require less training. Since boomerang employees already worked for you in the past, they’re already familiar with your culture, values, and guidelines. Which means they’ll be able to dive into the job quicker, and save you valuable time and money by not having to train them on the basics about your company or the job at hand.
- You already know their strengths. Because you’re already familiar with boomerang employees, there’ll be less unwelcome surprises. And, because you’re already familiar with their skillset, you’ll have a better idea of how they can grow within your company.
Makes a powerful statement about your employer brand. After all, nothing says, “This is a great place to work,” than when employees who quit find themselves unable to stay away. (Of course, this only works if you publicize that they returned. For example, through an employee spotlight on social media. And likewise with sharing internally.)
- Indirectly helps your retention strategies. The answers you’ll get in a formal exit interview can be very different than those that’ll come up in a casual conversation with a boomerang employee about what made them quit and what got them to change their minds. By understanding the motives of boomerang employees, you’ll understand your current employees’ needs better and be able to build better strategies to attract them.
Steps to help make attracting boomerang employees easier
- Part on good terms: This one’s kinda a given, but it’s often easier said than done. Employees leaving–especially if they leave when you really need them–can hit hard, and the impulse to just vent can be hard to resist. But resisting it is worth it. You never know if an employee will boomerang, but they definitely won’t if you part on bad terms.
- Conduct an exit interview and address issues: Employees leave for all types of reasons, and not always do they have anything to do with you. But often they do. Asking for an open conversation about what can be addressed, and then taking the steps to address those issues, is a great way to attract those boomerang employees.
- Stay in touch: Returning to a prior employer can be a very personal decision. If there’s an employee you’re sad to see go and wish would have stayed, stay in touch with them. Keeping that relationship going will make convincing them down the line to return much easier.
For more on all this, see this article on how to attract boomerang employees.
Strategies to attract boomerang employees
When it comes to specific employees, keep it personal
If there’s a specific employee you feel would be a good fit for a specific position, the best approach is the personal one. Reach out to them personally and get that conversation started. You can do that no matter what, but if you’ve kept somewhat in touch since they left, the conversation will feel much more natural.
Leverage social media to attract boomerang employees in general
When it comes to attracting boomerang employees in general, the strategies you’d use to attract them will be much the same as you’d use to attract regular candidates, with some minor tweaks:
- Show the benefits of working for you. Job posts work for regular candidates and boomerang employees alike, but whereas simply sharing that you’re hiring might catch the eye of candidates, boomerang employees are less likely to care. They worked for you in the past, and they left. You need to give them reason to care by sharing the benefits of working for you as well. Like Ulta Beauty does here:
Here at CareerArc, we like to say that you should view every job post as if it’s also an employer brand post, and this is a great example of that.
- Employee spotlights remain a powerful tool. We’ve talked in the past about how powerful an employee spotlight can be, and how to tweak them to help with retention goals. Employee spotlights are great at attracting boomerang employees, too. Because like anything in life, a brand is never as good at convincing someone to become a customer as a current customer is. And your employees are the customers of your employer brand.
- Show how you’ve changed. Added new benefits? Gone remote? Addressed an aspect of your company culture that drastically needed addressing? Showing this on social media is a great way to catch the eye of boomerang employees (AKA, the people who may have left because you weren’t doing these things). Just remember to avoid advertising that this is something your company struggled with in the past. You can advertise an awesome new benefit without saying, “Which is awesome, because we used to work our employees to the bone before.”
Build an employer brand that attracts everyone
One last tip for attracting boomerang employees–and forgive me on this one, cause I’m going to dust off my salesy-talk over here. But I’ll try to make it worth it:
Because here’s the thing. What we do at CareerArc is devastatingly simple. We transform your social media presence into a strategic source of hire. Simply put: we help you turn your social media presence into a literal magnet for talent. And you’re not just getting more talent. You’re getting better talent, like passive candidates and even boomerang employees.
And we do it all while saving you an average of 949+ hours a year.
You can read all about how we help you build your employer brand presence on social media over here. Or you can see it in person.