Ready for the Rebound: Getting a Grip on the Boomerang Workforce

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The tighter market for skilled workers is resulting in some interesting changes. One such change - and one of the top trends we're keeping an eye on in 2017 - is the boomerang workforce. These are employees looking to return to a former employer after choosing to take a job elsewhere. While the trend is ongoing, observed in an earlier study by Kronos in 2015, we expect the impact to play an increasingly important role in workforce management.

Younger Professionals Are Making Moves Sooner

While baby boomers stick with a company for 4.5 years on average, the millennial workforce averages closer to 3 years. That shouldn't come as a surprise with the tightening of the talent market. Companies are competing harder to draw the best talent, and when taking into account shifts in the workforce, an amicable departure may no longer signal the end of an employee relationship.

Attitudes Are Shifting in HR

It used to be that once an employee left a business they wouldn't be considered for roles in the future. Now, human resources departments and company leaders seem more open to welcoming back people who left on good terms—and they should be! Many HR professionals (around 76%) are more accepting of boomerang employees, and 56% give them priority consideration over unfamiliar applicants. Maybe it's a sign of the times. Social media does make it easier for companies to stay connected with former employees and observe their accomplishments. The way we see it, by creating a positive culture that continues to support employees that choose to explore other opportunities, businesses can build rapport and attract productive individuals back.

Boomerangs Can Work To Your Advantage

There are a wealth of potential benefits to welcoming employees back. Take these and more into account:

  • Faster onboarding and assimilation
  • Known compatibility with the culture
  • Brings new experiences into the fold
  • Reinforced commitment to the business's success
  • Strengthened trust between employee and leadership

All in all, it could be a strong net positive when former members of a workforce are reintroduced -  so give interested past employees their due consideration!

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