Should you welcome back boomerang candidates?

Whether there was an 'unfortunate incident' or the grass seemed greener elsewhere, employees are everyday leaving their jobs with the intention of prospering under a new pay packet. Well it appears that sometimes it really is better the devil you know as more and more candidates are returning 'home' to take up positions with their old employers.

Providing they didn't leave on a wave misjudged gesticulations and regrettable rhetoric, re-recruiting a boomerang candidate could prove to be a wise hire with employees increasingly recognising the benefits of rolling out the welcome mat for ardent alumni.  

Less costly and time consuming

Hiring new staff can be a strain on both the company purse strings and the hour glass with sourcing, interviewing and training candidates all taking claim to expensive grains of sand. Welcoming back a former employee removes the most resource consuming elements of the recruitment process with the transition from integration to productive team member being shortened considerably. In fact, re-hiring a boomerang candidate is thought to save more than a third of the cost of recruiting when compared to bringing a newbie into the office; so why not hire two ex-employees for the price of one and a bit shiny new ones? (maths never was my strong point.)

You know exactly what you're getting

After a few years experience of hiring and firing, I'm sure you've learnt that the candidate you meet in an interview can be very different to the Chuckle Brother tribute act you eventually end up subsidising. Employing these masters of deception can be costly to your business so being able to bring in one of your already trusted contacts appears a favourable, less risky alternative. You'll already be well acquainted with the skeletons in their closet and know exactly what you're (re)introducing to your workforce.

They already understand your business

Just like you know all about them, you can be confident that your former angled frisbee employee knows exactly what to expect upon returning to their old office chair. Familiarity can breed both contempt and content when it comes to the workplace and knowing that a candidate is going to fit into the environment is half of the recruitment gamble. This isn't to say that your average candidate wouldn't be compatible with your company culture but fromage fridays and naked lunch meetings aren't for everyone.

Bring newly acquired knowledge

While there's every chance you didn't bemoan their departure first time around, it's likely that a boomerang candidate has picked up a few skills and contacts that would now make them a real asset to your business. Sometimes you can hire a person too soon in their career and find that a few years away gives them the opportunity to grow as both a person and a professional. Time outside of the office walls may also have afforded them a new perspective, allowing them to return with fresh ideas that will add value to your operations.

Higher retention rate

You don't always know what you've got until it's gone and it seems that this old adage certainly rings true for boomerang candidates who have found that pastures new aren't always as fruitful as they'd once envisaged. Time away from the company will have taught them that a pot of gold isn't waiting at the end of the rainbow and this is likely to make them more loyal second time around. This can also act as a warning to some of your other employees who may now think twice before replying to that 'earn £1000 a day by working at home' job advert.

Though you might not think you'll be catching this boomerang anytime soon, you never know if a departing employee will be needed in the future so it's best not to burn all bridges in a spectacular explosion of bitterness and misconduct trials. The lack of cost and time can make ex-staff an attractive proposition but it's not always appropriate to repair severed ties so fully consider your options before dusting off an old name badge.