Boomerang Hiring Strategy


It’s no secret that hiring IT professionals has become more challenging. With unemployment amongst tech-oriented workers sitting just below 3 percent, finding the talent you need is a difficult task. That means it is time to rethink the negative connotations of rehiring those who may have chosen to leave.

Talented professionals will leave for the right opportunity. However, they may be interested in returning should a new position with your company attract their attention.

While the job market during the recession had job-seekers desperate to find employment, some of these same professionals are being actively pursued today. And, just because an employee chooses to leave, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a favorable opinion of your company. By remaining open to rehiring ‘boomerang’ employees, you leave yourself in a better position to gather the skills your business needs to excel.

To help ensure your company appeals to those who may be interested in returning one day, here are some strategies to begin using today.

Reevaluate Hiring Policies

The first step is to review your current hiring policies and how they relate to those interested in being rehired. If an employee left because they were unhappy, they likely wouldn’t try to return. And those who were let go are even less likely to try again. However, those who were happy, but received an offer that they couldn’t ignore from elsewhere, may be interested in coming back under the right circumstances.

If your policy eliminates rehiring, then you have removed these qualified workers from your pool of candidates. And, if moving between employers remains common in the field, your list of potential applicants will only continue to shrink.

Understand the Context

Employees may move on for a variety of reasons. A promotional opportunity at a different company should be considered differently than someone who just decided to see if the grass was greener elsewhere. And the same goes for employees who left for personal reasons, such as an unexpected out-of-state move or a change in family obligations.

It is fair to examine whether a returning employee is likely to stay or if they will run off at the first sign of a potentially better offer. If you can’t trust the former employee to stay long enough to make the rehiring worth your while, then it is fine to consider that as part of the larger picture.

Keep Communication Channels Open

An employee leaving is not personal. Even if it leads to frustration, it is important to treat the outgoing employee with every professional courtesy. Keep the environment friendly, and be open to staying in touch. By keeping the relationship positive, you are more likely to gain their interest should a new opportunity arise that fits their goals. Additionally, they will be more inclined to refer other professionals who may be interested in opportunities with your organization.

Adjust Your Hiring Process

Interviewing a new candidate and considering a former employer are not the same. It doesn’t make sense to ask a potential rehire the same questions you would of a candidate you just met. Be open to more casual conversation, as well as an honest discussion regarding why they left and what has them interested in returning.

Unless the employee has been gone for a long time, you are likely already familiar with their capabilities. Spending time rehashing what you both already know is unnecessary.

Potential for Fallout

Bringing a former employee back doesn’t just impact the hiring manager; it also affects those who worked with them previously. If a current employee is being considered for a promotional position and is ultimately passed over for a ‘boomerang’ employee, that can be damaging to morale. In some cases, other employees will be happy to see a former coworker returning if they had strong working relationships and were considered reliable. However, rehiring someone who left a more negative impression can lead to more trouble than it is worth.

If you are looking for tech professionals to fill current vacancies, ITStaff has the industry knowledge required to recruit the best candidates available. Contact ITStaff and put their experience to work for you.

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