The benefits of hiring a boomerang

Home | Insights | Employers and Hiring Practice | The benefits of hiring a boomerang
A woman presents a proposal in front of a room full of her colleagues, talking about the benefits of a boomerang hire.

With a low employment rate but an ever-increasing number of vacancies, finding the right talent in today’s market is becoming harder than ever. This, coupled with the millennial tendency to jump around between companies and roles, has led to the rise of a phenomenon called the boomerang hire.

A boomerang employee is one that has left a company voluntarily but then returns down the track. With 83% of UK companies more open to hiring boomerang employees than they were three years ago, and 36% of HR executives having successfully re-hired a permanent employee (1), it continues to rise in popularity as a successful staffing solution.

In the past, welcoming back a former employee might have been a no-go. However, it’s now increasingly acceptable as businesses consider creative ways to fill vacancies in the wake of the Great Resignation. According to LinkedIn, 4.5% of all new hires among companies on its platform were boomerang workers in 2021, compared to 3.9% in 2019, while research finds that nearly one in five people who quit their role during the pandemic has already “boomeranged” back. And of those who have not yet returned to the company they left, 41% would consider it if it were an option.

So, should you be considering hiring a former employee? Here are just a few benefits to hiring a boomerang:

1. No need to invest in on-boarding

If an employee is voluntarily returning to working with you, it means they already understand and are familiar with the workplace culture and environment, as well as the technology and procedures you use. The cost of hiring an employee can be up to £50,000 a year (2), so opting for someone who doesn’t require an onboarding process could prove incredibly valuable, both in time and financial investment.

2. Increased skillset

In between leaving your company and returning to it, there’s a high chance the employee has experienced a variety of different workplaces, working styles and industries, bringing with them a host of new knowledge they can impart on a business. If in a client-facing company, a boomerang can also bring connections and customers that could be of huge benefit.

3. Reduced risk

There’s always a risk with a new hire. Will they perform? Will they fit in? By hiring a former employee, you have access to their track record, meaning you can more accurately predict their performance in the future. It also means they are less likely to leave, as they already have – and have voluntarily come back, recognising your company’s benefits.

4. Inspire confidence in the team

A former hire returning to their previous company reminds existing employees that the grass is not always greener on the other side. It inspires confidence in your company’s efforts and demonstrates that the business has something to offer in the marketplace. The returning employee can also reiterate what has improved since they’ve been away.

However, there are also risks to the boomerang hire. If an employee previously had conflicts with existing employees, this may re-ignite once more if the team hasn’t changed. The boomerang may be unwilling to change, or feel entitled to a position of seniority, special perks or a larger salary.

At the end of the day, only you will be able to tell if a boomerang hire will be beneficial to your business.

Likewise, if you are considering returning to your previous place of employment, take it as an opportunity for personal and professional growth, with a chance to share your knowledge with a supportive team.

In need of support staff? Tiger Recruitment is happy to help with all your hiring needs. Get in touch today.


Author David Morel Tiger Recruitment Team

Sign up for the latest workplace insights.

Are you: