Should HR rehire ex-employees?

There are a number of benefits to so-called “boomerang” employees, says one staffing expert – but only if HR gets it right.

The beauty of boomerang employees (or rehiring former workers) is that they often have a shorter learning curve and require less training, according to Bill Driscoll, district president for the staffing firm Accountemps.

Driscoll added that if an employee resigned to complete further education or training, having them back will potentially bring new skills and ideas to the organisation.

His comments come off the back of new research which has found that 98% of HR managers would happily welcome back an employee who left their company on good terms.

However, the survey also found that 52% of professionals polled said that it was unlikely they would apply for a job at a company they have already worked at.

 "Companies who part ways unprofessionally or don't take seriously the information they glean from exit interviews could miss out on bringing back someone great,” said Driscoll.

The research also found that the primary reason for 5% of employees leaving their jobs is that they didn’t receive the tools and training to do their job effectively.

The top reason for leaving was they didn’t like management (23%), followed by not liking the corporate culture (14%) and job duties (14%).

The research involved more than 300 HR managers at companies in the United States, and more than 1,000 U.S. workers.

Accountemps offers the following tips for companies that want to leave the door open for departing employees:   
  1. Conduct exit interviews. Get feedback from employees who resign and act on the information if it improves the work environment.
  2. Part ways professionally. Avoid isolating those who've given notice. If they are leaving on good terms, treat them as members of the team until they walk out the door for the last time.
  3. Communicate intentions. If you think you'd like to rehire exiting employees, let them know they'd be welcomed back. Sometimes the grass isn't greener somewhere else, and they might jump at the chance to return.
  4. Stay in touch. Keep in contact with former employees who were top performers. You never know when their situation might change and they'll be in the market for a new job.
  5. Consider boomerangs for different roles. If they've gained new skills and experience, they may be better suited for other positions or departments. 
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