Boomerangs - An Important Talent Strategy Piece

February 06, 2019
Inside HR
Recruiting & Hiring

You know about the boomerang—a piece of wood that, when thrown, is designed to return to the thrower. But this isn’t just a term for an oddly shaped piece wood. In the HR world it also refers to top-performing employees who’ve left a company and are rehired years later.

Boomerang rehires should really be part of your talent strategy, and here’s why:

  • Boomerang rehires have a proven track record.
  • They know your business and will get back up to speed quickly.
  • You already know about their strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities.
  • Competitor knowledge and established business connections are often part of the rehire deal.
  • New skills and experiences have been gained since they left, which will benefit your organization.
  • Boomerang rehires make for a cost-effective talent strategy.

Keep an eye on the retirement-age demographic. These days, people are retiring at a later age—but with rising health care costs, many previous top performers are extending their careers, making excellent (boomerang) mentors.

Today it’s so easy to find your previous top-performing employees to woo them back. Social media is a great tool, especially LinkedIn, where you can search their names and voila, there they are. A good plan is to figure out the individual you’d like to have back, create compelling reasons why he or she should return to your organization, then reach out and see what happens.

Here are some tips to rehiring boomerangs:

  • Create a new label in your applicant tracking system (ATS) and upload resumes for those you hope to recruit back some day.
  • Conduct exit interviews when they first leave so you know the reasons they are changing jobs. Then you’ll be well versed in customizing your pitch to them in the future.
  • Stay in touch. Send out a quarterly newsletter to those who have departed to keep them involved with the company.
  • Stay connected on LinkedIn.

So what are you waiting for? Toss out a few boomerangs and see which ones return!