2023 Recruitment Trends: The Return of Former Employees

Mar 13, 2023
Applicant Tracking, Blog, Featured Article, Recruiting Best Practices

In this six-part series, we explore some of the talent acquisition trends to expect in 2023. As you explore these trends, consider how you can adjust your company’s recruiting and hiring practices to adapt.

The job market has shifted, resulting in a trend known as “boomerang employees.” This term refers to employees who changed jobs or even retired early, only to realize the grass may not be greener on the other side. A changing economy has caused retirement accounts to shrink for many, along with feelings of uncertainty about the future.

Boomerang employees are part of a rapidly growing trend in the workforce as hiring managers are faced with the decision of whether to rehire team members who left. But assuming the employee left on good terms, why not bring them back onboard?

The Benefits of Returning Employees

Losing a good team member is often frustrating for managers and recruiters. You lose the skillset and knowledge of a strong employee, which can leave the department scrambling to fill their shoes. But if that individual wants to come back, and there’s an open position that aligns with their expertise, it makes sense to welcome them with open arms.

Returning employees come with an understanding of the organization, including the expectations and culture. Even if they’re moving into a different role from the one they left, the learning curve isn’t generally as steep as it would be with a brand-new hire. Most rehired employees can transition between roles easily, thanks to their foundational understanding of the company as a whole.

How to Support Employees who Want to Return

A strong offboarding process goes hand-in-hand with the trend of boomerang employees. It’s a trend that no organization can afford to ignore. If your company has little to no offboarding processes in place, now is the time to invest in developing relationships with those who choose to leave.

When employees resign to pursue other opportunities, they typically have reasons for leaving the organization. Tapping into those former team members as resources can help your business improve its culture and give employees what they want. A positive exit interview process can uncover insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. You can find out why people are leaving, and what might encourage them to come back.

Additionally, it’s worth considering technology that can track former workers and figure out who might have the experience and skills needed when a role opens up. With the right software, your business can manage data on applicants and hired employees. If a position becomes available that aligns with their skills, their information is readily available, which may simplify the process of filling that particular role.

Don’t miss out on a potentially stellar hire simply because they already worked for the company in the past. As more people boomerang back to companies where they felt comfortable, it’s worth considering how your organization could encourage former employees to return.

Check out the other posts in our 2023 Talent Acquisition Trends series:

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