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Boomerang hiring may seem like a last-ditch effort to keep your small business afloat. However, the effects of the COVID-19 era, and a shift in employee perspectives, triggered the great resignation for even the biggest organizations, compromising overall revenue growth and sustainability due to the labor shortage.  

Consequently, businesses were faced with a difficult decision: should they rehire previous employees or hire new talent to meet demands? Here’s how boomerang hiring can be an effective recruiting strategy for your small business. 

What is boomerang hiring? 

Rehiring former employees, also known as boomerang hiring, is not a new concept. However, it is a method that is not commonly utilized, until recently. The pandemic has triggered this recruiting strategy for many hiring managers because it saves time, lowers recruitment training and costs, and is more convenient than finding new candidates. So how do you know if you should implement boomerang hiring for your small business, and why would you rehire employees that left in the first place?  

Why should I rehire employees that left in the first place? 

The reasons employees leave companies vary, and not all employees leave due to dissatisfaction with the organization itself. Some employees leave because of personal life-changing circumstances such as divorce, family death, or welcoming a new baby. Depending on the company’s offerings, PTO, parental leave, or bereavement may not have been a viable option. This makes rehiring these individuals once they are ready to return to the workforce less challenging.  

Factors that lead to high employee turnover

On the other hand, employees who did leave dissatisfied may still consider returning with a few incentives. To rehire former high-performing employees, you need to understand why an employee would leave in the first place. Common reasons an employee may leave a company are due to:

  • work culture
  • challenging relationships with coworkers
  • lack of recognition
  • boredom from being unchallenged at work

While every factor may not be in your control, there are a few elements that are, and adapting and accommodating rehires is crucial to get the results you desire with limited resources. The good news is the pandemic has restructured the way we work and former employees who may have left due to poor work-life balance may be more convinced to return with a more flexible schedule or opportunities to work remotely.  

The big elephant in the room when it comes to an employee leaving is compensation. Perhaps they didn’t feel recognized at work and left for better pastures and more greenbacks. However, a former high-potential employee may boomerang back because the company they transitioned to went out of business, experienced a layoff, or even because they recognized they liked the work culture more than they realized. Due to economic uncertainty, people are also considering former companies to stay afloat. As a recruiter or hiring manager, it is essential to offer solutions for employee satisfaction, and providing more compensation for their skills or a promotion plan within a reasonable timeframe may be the solution to your rehiring process.  

A reasonable solution for accommodating former employees

If an employee has left due to not feeling challenged at work, offer more rewarding responsibilities that might improve employee engagement and help you reach company goals.  

Whatever the reason for an employee initially leaving a company, it is not always bad, nor is it irreparable. Understanding your employee’s motivations and needs is the key to maintaining employee satisfaction. 

How boomerang hiring can help grow your business 

Financial instability, lack of sales revenue and growth, and high turnover may indicate a need to change your recruiting strategy. Although hiring new talent may seem like a better alternative, you may want to reconsider if your firm is resource-constrained.

The average cost of hiring a new employee is $4,129. Whereas, the cost of rehiring a former employee can be much less. Former employees know what to expect in terms of corporate culture, processes, and tools. As a result, returning employees frequently adjust faster than new ones, making the hiring process more convenient.

Aside from the financial benefits, rehiring a former employee enhances organizational loyalty, engagement, and commitment. These individuals are often more appreciative of the company they work for and the colleagues with whom they collaborate. They also bring with them a distinct perspective that could result in positive organizational changes. 

Recruiting methods to use for rehiring former employees  

Rehiring former employees can be as easy as browsing your contacts or going through your business files. That’s the perfect place to start. 

But when you need to search for new talent, the easiest recruiting method is utilizing an on-demand AI recruiting tool. While you may know an employee’s background, skills, and performance, AI recruiting solutions go beyond fundamental criteria. Recruiting tools like Arya use predictive analytics to help you identify the career trajectory of a candidate or employee, beyond education level, experience, and current skills. This can help you get a better understanding of each candidate for optimal results (and fewer bad hires).  

Adapting to the expectations of employees and applicants is critical in today’s candidate-driven economy. As a small business, you may have limited resources and time. Therefore, recruiting services and tools like Arya Pulse should be used to help you be more efficient and hire new employees while saving the cost of paying agency fees. That can give you peace of mind and more leverage during today’s economic upheavals and tight labor market. 

Author Bria Adams

For over 4 years, Bria Adams has been a passionate content marketing and writing contributor in the global tech, business, pharmaceutical and clinical industries. As an MBA candidate in Digital Innovation and Information systems at Pepperdine University based in Malibu, California, her passion for marketing, innovation, and offering informational value to people have been a mainstay throughout her career.

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