Who are Boomerang Employees and what are the Pros and Cons of Having Them in Organizations?

What is meant by Boomerang Employees and Why They Have Become So Important Suddenly?

Of late, much has been written and said about the so-called Boomerang Employees who are essentially employees who rejoin organizations that they have left earlier.

In other words, Boomerang Employees, as the name implies, are staff members who “return” to the organizations to the organizations that they have left previously.

While the “homecoming” aspect means that organizations benefit from the familiarity and the experience of such employees, it is also the case that these employees have been fickle in their loyalties towards such organizations and so, there is always the lingering feeling of whether they would repeat the quitting part.

Moreover, employees who have been loyal and have stuck to the organizations might feel that they are being sidelined in favor of Boomerang Employees and that their loyalty and sincerity is not being rewarded.

On the other hand, the pandemic has created a peculiar situation where the number of job openings in the United States is more than the available pool of workers and so, organizations are being compelled to “overlook” such concerns and hire the Boomerang Employees and other such categories of staff.

The Pros and Cons of Having Boomerang Employees and How Does It Look On Balance?

Having said that, it is also the case that Boomerang Employees can be valuable in some instances.

For example, they bring with them a wealth of information about the other firms that they have worked for and while this is the case with any lateral recruits, the former also have the added advantage of being in a position where they can evaluate what is right and wrong about the organization that they have rejoined.

Boomerang Employees

In other words, as they had worked earlier and left and now rejoined, they bring to the table immense experience of how things work in other organization and how they stack up in the place they have returned to.

Moreover, Boomerang Employees also are those for whom the old ties matter as they decide to return as they have “seen the world” and have decided that it is better in the place they worked earlier.

In addition, they have the much needed perspective which coupled with less on-boarding times is a Double Benefit to the organizations.

We speak from personal experience here as we have been Boomerang Employees in our professional careers and so, we know what the pros and cons of hiring such employees are.

A Walk through the Floor from the Eyes of a Boomerang Employee and Why This Matters

Till now, we have dwelt on the advantages and disadvantages of the Boomerang Employees.

Now, we will take you through what exactly happens on the floor when Boomerang Employees return. In our experience, we found that as we rejoined a firm that we worked for earlier, we felt as though we have resumed where we left off and that apart from a few new faces here and there at the managerial and executive levels, most of the bosses and even peers are those whom we had known earlier.

This makes the process of hitting the ground running that much easier and also since we were acquainted with the processes of the firm, there wasn’t much “culture shock” as it seemed as though nothing much had changed.

In addition, we were cognizant of the products and the offerings of the firm and so, we could just login and take over without much ado, to the delight of our managers who were thrilled that there wasn’t much handholding for us.

Of course, as the saying goes, much water had flowed under the bridge since we left, and so, there were a few learning’s here and there, but much of it was manageable.

Boomerang Employees Have Always Existed, and It Is Only Now That They Have Become So Important

Coming to the present times, the reason why there has been so much attention on the Boomerang Employees is due to The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, and Rage Quitting which have become “fashionable” among Millennials.

In times when the Millennial and Gen Zers are leaving en masse, Boomerang Employees are like a “breath of fresh air” to the organizations that are now rolling out the red carpet for them.

What more does one want when employees willingly return whereas most of the others are just walking out of the door.

So, this is where the Boomerang Employees have become the source of much attention. While we have been Boomerang Employees, back then such category of staff made for less than 1 or at most a percent of all employees.

However, as many research publications note, this is going up in recent times and so, perhaps it is better for you as the readers to be more acquainted with this.

Indeed, there is a Mutual Benefit here as the post pandemic workforce realizes that familiarity is much better and that Old is Gold.

Apart from this, the very real advantage of saved costs on hiring and training is welcomed by organizations.

Temporary Phases Won’t Last

Last, it goes without saying that the present job market in the United States is skewed towards the workers and that is the reason we are seeing so much of churn and turmoil, leaving HR managers sleepless.

This is also the reason why corporates are resorting to all sorts of incentives and carrots to lure employees and the phenomenon of Boomerang Employees has to be viewed in this context.

However, we believe that this is temporary phase and so, once things return to Normal or The New Normal, the corporates would have the upper hand again and the balance tilts.

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Human Resource Management