HR Solutions: When to Rehire a Boomerang Employee?

One of the newest topics in payroll services and HR solutions is about boomerang employees – the people that have left a company and then decide to “boomerang” back to their former employer. Now, companies are having to make decisions about whether to welcome these former employees or say good-bye for good. 

The first question to ask is whether the employee left for the right reasons. You’d be surprised how many people leave a company because of things like culture, money or a bad boss. If that’s happening, it’s likely that those issues still exist in your organization—and bringing back a boomerang employee may not be in your best interest.

However, if circumstances have changed since they departed and you considered them to be an asset, then rehiring could make sense. For example: A salesperson may have left because they were unhappy with their commission structure but if that issue has been resolved or improved upon since then (maybe there was just no room for growth at that time), then maybe now is the time to bring them back into play again. 

Usually something has changed in their life

If you have a boomerang employee who is coming back to your team, it’s usually because something has changed in their life. Maybe they were offered a new job by a competitor, or maybe they wanted to experience a different type of work environment, or maybe they wanted to try to start their own business. Many employees are returning after a change they experimented with as a part of the Great Resignation. 

There are circumstances where an employee might have changed their goals or outlook and want to realign their future with a former company. How do you tell if an employee has truly changed their priorities to re-align with your company? When they return to your company, ask them about their time away from work. What did they learn? What did they accomplish? Has their perspective on what it means to work at a company changed at all? It may the reason they left wasn’t as bad as you thought, that they’ve learned valuable new things while away and time a away was good thing in disguise!

It’s important to review your company as it is today

Determine if there have been any changes that could affect their decision to re-apply. Some examples include:

  • Changes in company management
  • Changes in company direction
  • Changes in company culture
  • Changes in company growth (fast-paced, slow-paced)
  • Morale within the organization (positive/negative)
  • Structure of the organization (flat or hierarchical)    * Turnover rate of employees
  • Values shared by all members of the team

When you take into account these factors, alongside other relevant information like turnover rates and employee values, it becomes clear that hiring a boomerang employee can be beneficial for both parties involved.

Define the employee’s career path and why they left the first time.

Before you can decide whether to rehire a boomerang employee, it’s important to define their career path and reasons for leaving the first time. Take the time to understand what they are trying to achieve, as well as why they left. If they had a clear career path at your company, did something change? Did another opportunity arise that seemed too good to pass up? Or did their personal life make them decide it was time for a change of scenery?

Once you know why the employee left in the first place and whether or not there has been any progress on their professional journey since then, it will be much easier for you to assess if hiring them back is truly worth your time and money.

Determine if the reason for leaving can be eliminated.

When deciding whether or not to rehire a boomerang employee, the first thing you should do is determine if the reason they left can be eliminated.

If they left due to a bad manager, ask them if they would be okay working with that manager again. If the answer is no, then it probably isn’t worth bringing them back on board.

If they left because there was no growth opportunity, ask if they would be okay with the same growth opportunities at your company as before. If not, then it may not be worth bringing them back on board either.

Do a performance review on boomerang candidates.

  • To help you decide whether or not to rehire a boomerang employee, begin by doing a performance review on the candidate.
  • Check out their work history and see what they’ve accomplished at previous employers.
  • Find out if they have improved their skills in any way since leaving your company last time.
  • Ask the candidate why he or she left the last job. Was it because of problems with management? Were there personal reasons? Or was it because they were unhappy with their position? You’ll want to know this information so that you can make sure it won’t happen again if you do offer them another position within your company again!
  • Talk to former colleagues of theirs from past jobs–this will give you valuable insight into how well liked this person is among his or her peers and what kind of reputation he/she has around town!

Update your company profile page on your website.

To show changes at your company, the first thing you should do is update your company profile page on your website. This is an excellent opportunity to talk up your culture, mission statement and history. If a boomerang employee has been away from the office for many years, it’s important that these pages are updated so that they still reflect what makes your organization special and how values have evolved.

It’s also helpful if you can send out new employee orientation materials with updates about any changes in company policy since their last hire date.

Consider using an HR consultant.

A third option is to hire an HR consultant.

HR consultants are experts in their field, and they can help you find the best candidate for your company. They can also assist with new employee onboarding, which includes everything from organizing orientation to providing training and coaching on all aspects of your organization’s culture. In addition, a qualified HR professional will help define the career path of each new hire so that they stay engaged and focused on meeting performance objectives. A good HR solutions provider will also give you access to industry best practices regarding compensation, benefits and other workplace policies that may affect your business’ bottom line (and morale).

Consider your options, including bring them back as a “contractor” through payroll services instead of as an “employee”.

There are situations where your boomerang employee is a know asset to for making great things happen while at the same time not being a perfect fit with the long-term plans for the company. It may be in these cases that it works best to onboard them through a payroll services solution where they do contracted work for you in their area of expertise without the administrative management overhead associated with a regular employee. Contact Amtec to learn more about contract staffing, payroll services, and HR solutions.

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