Boomerangs

Scott Francis
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I love China Gorman’s post on Boomerangs

“It used to be that being a “job hopper” was a bad thing. Employers wouldn’t touch someone who moved around a lot. And employees almost never wanted to go back to a former employer.”

Interestingly Kronos has done some research on the subject and had some surprising results:

  • Organizations and workers alike are coming around on rehiring former employees.
  • Boomerangs are creating increased – and unexpected – competition for job seekers as the hiring market continues to improve.
  • Familiarity, easier training, and knowledge of the former employer are benefits for boomerangs and organizations – yet some concerns still linger.
  • HR says it has a strategy for maintaining relationships with former employees, but workers and managers disagree.

From this point, China veers into “what HR can do about building relationships with alumni to attract boomerangs”. 

But let’s be honest. It isn’t the relationship with HR that is going to bring you back to a company you’ve left – it is the relationship with the people you work for, and your many relationships with colleagues. 

In my mind, hiring “boomerangs” isn’t that different from hiring someone you’ve worked with at a previous company:

  • communication is generally more natural and efficient
  • trust is implicit rather than waiting to be earned, in both directions
  • mutual respect girds any conflicts that the job might bring to the table

For a more extreme version of boomerang, consider a contractor – someone you explicitly expect to hire, release, and hire again as the business requires their help.  They’re almost a professional boomerang!

There are several people at BP3 I’ve hired more than once. One of them three times… We always joke we’d like to not make it a fourth!  The reason we want a second bite at the apple is that these folks are great- the respect is deep and mutual – and we know we can do great things together.  As BP3 is growing, one of the great pleasures of the business is the additional ability to bring people into the business that we like working with!