The need for skilled talent remains high, yet recruiters struggle to find candidates to fill their open jobs. With more companies requiring employees back to the office, economic challenges, fewer opportunities for remote work, and “the Great Resignation” waning, where are recruiters finding talent? It might surprise you that employers are communicating with their former employees – those who left for so-called “greener pastures” and those who retired – to see if they’ll “boomerang back” to their former company.
According to an article in ALM Benefits Pro, “4 out of 10 employees who quit their jobs during the pandemic now admit they were better off at their old job, according to a multi-country survey by workforce solutions company UKG.” Harvard Business Review also recently noted that “statistics around the prevalence of boomerang employees vary by industry, but a hot-off-the-press study conducted by HR analytics firm Visier between 2019 and 2022 found that 28% of “new” hires were actually boomerang employees who couldn’t stay away more than three years.”
Wooing Back Former Employees With These 4 Strategies
Here are some things to win back former employees. Oftentimes, a conversation with the former employee on why they left and how they’re doing may shed some light on what it will take to rehire them:
- Employee Culture: If you already have an awesome culture, congratulations! Many boomerang employees return because they miss the caring culture and work/life balance. If your culture needs improvement, work on the “low-hanging fruit” and move forward from there. Perhaps the former employee would like to be part of the team to enhance the company culture.
- Alignment of Mission and Values: ALM Benefits Pro notes that the “the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, employers are really being compelled to take a look at their own DNA — who they are as a company, what they stand for, whether they have the right talent on board.” Employees want to feel respected and valued for their contributions.
- Colleague Experience: If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it thousands of times – employees oftentimes love the people they work with but find the environment intolerable. When evaluating your employee culture, reassess benefits and perks, professional development and growth opportunities, and peer resource groups as options to improve the environment.
- Considering Retirees/Mature Employees: While some of your former employees may have retired, there are also many mature employees who would be valuable assets to your employee diversity. ALM Benefits Pro urges company executives to “rethink stereotypes of older employees as being less capable, less able to adapt and learn, and unwilling to roll up their sleeves and dig in. Organizations that eliminate age bias from their cultures and hiring practices understand and appreciate the merits of hiring mature candidates. A recent Deloitte study shows that age brings a sense of security and wisdom to teams that can be used to their advantage.” ALM Benefits Pro asserts that organizations with a “more collaborative spirit and the benefits of diverse teams that integrate youthful vitality with the insights of experience” may “become more innovative, profitable, and likely to reach its full potential.”
It’s a good sign that employers can tap into their alumni database for recruitment purposes, not only to rehire them but to seek referrals. By the way, these tips are important for all employers and could prevent employees from leaving in the first place.