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The benefits of boomerang employees

3/16/2022

The benefits of boomerang employees

As labor shortages continue to impact the supply chain industry, warehouse employers are having difficulty filling the necessary positions. Whether it's an ineffective recruiting strategy, the risks of a bad hire or the cost of onboarding and training, logistics leaders are seemingly running out of options. However, there's one strategy that many hiring managers overlook: rehiring previous employees.

Rehiring old workers can provide a wealth of benefits for your warehouse, from minimizing costs to eliminating the potential of hiring an unqualified candidate. And with job opportunities in the logistics industry expected to grow by 241,900 in 2022, there's an increasing incentive to welcome back boomerang employees.

What is a boomerang employee?
As you likely already guessed, boomerang employees are people who left their jobs but are now returning to the same company. This can happen for a variety of reasons, whether it was due to pandemic-related layoffs, moving locations, receiving another offer, etc. Basically, it's anyone who left your company in good standing and wants to return.

Why should you hire boomerang employees again?
Aside from the fact that boomerang workers represent a potentially untapped candidate pool, there are a number of benefits to hiring old employees, including:

  • Reducing costs involved with recruiting and onboarding talent.
  • Minimizing time spent recruiting and training new employees.
  • Eliminating the risks associated with hiring someone you don't already know.
  • Leveraging the new experiences of your old employees.
  • Receiving feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your organization.
  • Improving your workplace culture and community for professional and personal growth.

What kinds of employees make ideal boomerangs?
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, "the best boomerang employees are those who left on good terms." Perhaps they left for personal or family reasons or were forced to depart due to the pandemic. In any case, these former — and hopefully soon-to-be — employees left your company at one point to move onto other projects or roles. Having gained all of this new knowledge and industry experience, these boomerang workers can provide your company with plenty of additional value.

In some cases, their professional growth may have reached a point where they can be considered for higher-level positions. These quality candidates make excellent boomerang employees as they already have the necessary industry experience to jump into a new role with the added benefit of outsider knowledge and varying perspectives.

Potential downsides to boomerang employees
While it might seem like a clear winning strategy, rehiring boomerang employees can come with some pitfalls. For instance, older employees may have a hard time adjusting to new changes in your facility or workflow. Perhaps the primary drawback is the prevailing fear that the employee will leave again.

If this is the case, it's essential to understand why they left in the first place. Be open and communicate with your employees, and listen to their concerns and suggestions. When valid issues or criticisms are brought up, be proactive in addressing them. By clearing the air early on in the process, you can ensure a fresh start between you and your boomerang workers, laying the foundation for a successful working relationship.