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Boomerang Employees: Why Making Exiting Employees Happy Is A Smart Hiring Strategy

By Jack McCalmon, The McCalmon Group, Inc.

An Accountemps survey finds that 94 percent of senior managers are open to rehiring boomerang employees. The survey defines "boomerang" employees as employees who leave their employment on good terms.

Unfortunately, former employees are not as willing to come back, according to the survey. Only 52 percent of former workers are likely to apply for a position with a previous employer. Of the 48 percent not willing to come back, 11 percent cite the reason as "having burned a bridge" with their previous employer. Accountemps "Survey: 94 Percent Of Managers Would Rehire Former Employees" prnewwire.com (Jan. 17, 2019).

Commentary by Jack McCalmon

So, according to this survey, most employers would hire boomerang employees and most boomerang employees would fly back to their old employer. That is the good news even though the employers desire the reunion more than employees do.

The other good news is only 11 percent of former employees cite “burning the bridge” as the reason for not wanting to go back.

With today’s tight job market, it makes perfect sense for employers to hire back former employees who left in good standing, especially because the employer knows the employee and the employee knows the job. Less training time and fewer mistakes equals more productivity.

The bad news from the survey is that 22 percent of the 48 percent of employees who would not go back point to dissatisfaction with management as the reason. That is the most common reason given by that group.

Here are some tips to keep those former employees thinking about how good they had it under your leadership, so they are not part of that 22 percent:

  • Treat every employee with respect and dignity.
  • Be fair.
  • Be civil.
  • Recognize and respect personal, professional, and employer boundaries.
  • Be consistent in your management style,
  • Be fair when describing an employee’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Communicate and ask for feedback.
  • Recognize and try to address the career needs of your employees,

When an employee leaves your employment, it is important to congratulate them and not speak negatively about their future plans or their future employer. Thank them for the time they have given you and your organization and point out what they have achieved. Celebrate their successes.

Finally, let them know they can work with you (versus for you) any time and that if they have second thoughts, to call you first.

Finally, your opinion is important to us. Please complete the opinion survey:

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