With the intense competition for talent going on, some companies will lose top performers. The key is, figuring out how to make them a boomerang rehire!
What’s a boomerang rehire?
They’re former star performers who return to their organization after experiencing “buyer’s remorse,” explains John Sullivan, an internationally known HR thought leader from Silicon Valley. And they often turn out to be some of the best hires a company can make.
Some of the advantages of rekindling these relationships:
- They’re proven performers
- They’re likely to stay – they’ve already tested the waters elsewhere and didn’t like it
- They understand your culture
- They can hit the ground running – you may have changed a few processes since they left, but they’re still light years ahead of an outside hire in terms of understanding how your company works, and
- You can probably get them on the job quickly – you already know what they’re capable of and how they fit in with your workforce.
The boomerang bonus doesn’t stop there. They also tell co-workers why they came back. “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side” is a strong statement about your company as an employer of choice. And it may plant the seed for other former employees to return.
Launching a boomerang program
Companies have been trying to rehire lost top talent for years, but it was difficult to track where people went and what they were doing. With LinkedIn and all the other social media channels nowadays, it’s easy for HR pros to keep track of who’s doing what and where.
So, what can HR do to set up a connection with these coveted candidates?
Here are a few action steps from Sullivan:
- Don’t wait until they leave – If you get an inkling that a top performer may be looking to leave, give them a compelling reason why they should stay. If they still go, let them know during their exit interview that the door is always open.
- Ask them what they need – During the conversation where you are asking them to stay, ask them what it would take for them to stay. You won’t know if you don’t ask.
- Keep in touch – Ask someone they were friends with at the company to keep in touch with them during their first 90 days. It’s important to know if they’re happy – or not – at their new job and why.
- Use “best days” to re-recruit – Believe it or not, there are “best days” to try and get a top performer who left back. Research has shown the best days to re-recruit include the top performer’s last day, two days before they start their new job, the day they start their new job and the Friday afternoon of their first week.
- Offer them a “return home pass” – If a boomerang candidate seems uncertain, consider offering them a 30/60/90-day “return home pass.” This way they’ll know their job or a similar job is available if they realize leaving was a mistake.
- Make a list of boomerang employees who came back – What better way to convince people to stay than showing them a list of people who left and came back? Better yet, let them talk to these returnees to find out why the grass wasn’t greener.