10 Reasons Why Boomerang Employees Are Your Company’s Most Valuable Human Resource

by Community Admin in Corporate Alumni   |    Last Edited: 17th February 2020

It is safe to say that most people in the world have received an unsolicited recruitment email in their inboxes at some point. While this is common practice, how effective is this strategy in really securing quality hires in the long term?

While the right fit can be found when engaging with passive candidates, most often the person who can offer the most value is one that understands the corporate culture already and can be immediately productive without requiring a lot of training or onboarding. Therefore, when hiring for an open role, why not look to boomerang employees to deliver value where strangers cannot?

What Is A Boomerang Employee?

A boomerang employee is someone who has left an organization or company on good terms and later gets rehired to work for that same company again. They are also referred to as ‘comeback kids’ or ‘returners’. 

Whether they left to pursue a different job or quit for personal reasons, boomerang employees are another talent pool that employers should source new hires from to fill gaps in the company. 

Why Are Boomerang Employees Such a Valuable Human Resource?

Here are the Top 10 reasons why sourcing from an alumni network is invaluable to your organization from a hiring perspective. 

1. Organizations Now Have A Different Rehiring Mindset

In the past, many companies would have been averse to hiring former employees for various reasons. Some companies have even actively discouraged hiring former employees in their policies, as there is a perception that bringing former employees back into the workplace could disturb the work environment and lead to conflict and issues around wage negotiations.

However, according to a recent survey, 76% of organizations state that they are more open to rehiring former employees than in the past. This means that more companies are looking to an alumni network to fill roles and build a more expansive pool of talent to source from. 

2. The Nature Of Work Is Changing

Historically, in workplaces with many employees and a strong company culture, it was important to commit to being in the office every day for many years in order to truly make an impact. However, as technology shifts the way we work, there is no longer the same physical need to work in the same space every day, which has also changed the nature of hiring.

In other words, the shifting nature of work means that you don’t even need to work full-time for an organization in order to contribute. This means that it is possible to develop and maintain relationships with former employees and to work with them on a contractual basis, or later on in their careers, to add value to a certain team or organization. 

This is also attributed to a generational mindset, which nowadays includes many Generation Y millennials. This mindset is criticized for being impatient and job-hopping, but the flip side is that people who have a wider breadth of experience could bring an unanticipated set of skills to a given role. 

3. Workplaces Are More Fast-paced

The nature of work is changing considerably with the growth of technology and flexible/remote work. 

With this increased technological growth and fragmentation, even the largest companies need to compete in a highly digitally-driven landscape. This means that so many more opportunities are available. Thus, some employees might not want to commit to a long-term role but would be happy to contribute to the organization at certain intervals that suit them.

This is especially the case with women who decide to take maternity leave, but, after a few years of raising a family, could be very ready to commit once again to a full- or part-time role. In some cases, companies can also evolve and develop new, specific roles for previous employees that weren’t available at the time of their employment. 

4. Boomerang Employees Reduce Time To Fill

Time to Fill is an important metric when it comes to decreasing the amount of time it takes for a role to be filled. With boomerang employees, Time to Fill is decreased considerably as there is less of a need to build a relationship and screen the employee before hiring them for the role.

To have a look at the numbers, only 2% of internet recruits convert into employees. Therefore, it makes sense that it would cost a lot less time and investment to fill a role with alumni. 

5. Boomerang Employees Reduce Time To Productivity

As important as it is to minimize the time spent on filling an open role, it’s also critical to consider and measure the amount of time and investment it takes to make sure that the new employee is a cultural fit and is contributing positively to the organization by fulfilling the requirements of their role.

Therefore, it might take a stranger hire longer to assimilate. Boomerang employees take less time to train, so they can be more productive more quickly. In addition, statistics show that boomerangs typically have a 44% higher retention rate over 3 years.

6. Building A Community Leads To Long Term Success

As we can see through social media marketing, building a community is proving critical for all kinds of organizations. In the same way you want to build a community of loyal customers, it’s also important to be aware of the value of boomerang employees and what they add to your brand, even if they never actually return to work at the organization.

7. Relationships Are Critical To Ensure Long Term Success

As we touched on in the previous point, building a community is important not only for sourcing and hiring purposes but also for brand health. This means that while it’s important to build and maintain an active community of supporters, the relationships you have with all stakeholders and employees are also an important part of a company’s overall success.

8. Boomerang Employees Drive Return On Investment (ROI)

If we turn back to the numbers, boomerang employees are not only more successful hires because they reduce time-to-fill and time-to-productivity, but also because they provide return on investment (ROI).

This is because, if we look at a simple sum based on recent statistics summarized in one of our infographics, a company of 10 000 could ensure an ROI of $1M when rehiring 238 employees for open positions. 

9. Company Value Fit Is Critical

This concept might not be easy to quantify, but for all of the reasons we have discussed above, employing people who align with your company’s core values is essential. Especially because of the very fragmented and fast-paced world that we live in today, as there is more competition than ever before, which is all the more reason to solidify your unique value proposition.

In this way, an engaging alumni network could form part of this kind of differentiation. If candidates feel like they are buying into more long-term community involvement, they may be more inclined to choose to work for your company than ones who do not.

10. Dynamism Is Essential To Thrive In A Changing World

There is a lot of talk about what skills are needed to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Many of these skills have always been important, but more emphasis is now being placed on critical thinking and being able to solve problems collaboratively.

Therefore, apart from being just a business strategy to improve ROI and reduce hiring costs over the long term, hiring from an alumni network is also about adapting to a changing world, as well as being open to adapting and collaborating with former employees and hiring them for open roles when it makes sense to do so.

Conclusion

As we have discussed, there are many reasons why boomerang employees are your company’s most valuable human resource. Some of the reasons include the changing nature of the workplace and how technology is forcing us to adapt and collaborate. On the other hand, when you take a critical look at the mechanics of hiring and ROI, it makes sense to engage with former employees who will cost a lot less to integrate into your organization. 

To find out more about how you can build an effective strategy for engaging with boomerang employees, get in touch with us at Enterprise Alumni. We’d love to tell you more about how our platform enables organizations to access a qualified pool of former employees ready to return, reducing time-to-fill, increasing time-to-productivity and delivering a 6x boost to an organization’s recruiting ROI.