Your next hire might be a familiar face.
The ranks of boomerang employees–workers who have left a company, only to later come back–are growing, according to data from LinkedIn, The Wall Street Journal reported this week. In 2021, boomerang workers account for 4.5 percent of all new hires on the platform, up from 3.9 percent in 2019. Some of these workers are people who quit during the pandemic and are looking to return to their old jobs, according to recent reporting from Business Insider.
Some leaders may be hesitant to onboard an employee who once abandoned ship, but there are reasons to consider them. According to research by Harvard Business Review, boomerang employees are more predictable than external hires and they have better immediate job performance. Boomerang workers also have lower training costs and they get onboarding quicker, which can make them more attractive to businesses that are looking to meet staffing needs, fast.
The costs of rehiring former workers should also weigh in. According to HBR‘s research, boomerang employees are more likely to resign (again) than both new hires and internal promotions. And if those former workers are retirees who have chosen to return to the workforce, they may not stick out the job for long. The takeaway: If you’re looking to staff up for short-term demand, a returning worker might be the perfect solution–but it’s best to look elsewhere for the long term.