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How to conduct a successful interview for boomerang employees

5/6/2022

Two business people review a resume and interview a candidate in a conference room

Employee turnover remains high across industries, and organizations are quickly turning to boomerang employees to fill open positions. If your business is considering hiring boomerang employees to mitigate the challenges of high turnover and low retention, here's everything you need to know about these employees and how to conduct a successful interview before they re-join the team.

What are boomerang employees?
Boomerang employees are workers that left a company for any number of reasons and later return to work for the organization once again. According to BambooHR, 40% of employees claimed they would consider coming back to a company where they had previously worked — including 46% of millennials, 33% of Gen Xers and 29% of baby boomers. This will be essential to consider as valuable workers are needed to keep pace with demand, as well as maintain levels of productivity.

Why should you consider boomerang employees?
These employees are on the rise. According to a report from Workhuman, this trend really took off in 2021 as a result of the Great Resignation — now representing a potentially untapped pool of talent for employers and hiring managers. Considering these workers can help your organization see:

  • A significant reduction in recruiting costs.
  • Increased employee loyalty.
  • A more adequate job suitability.
  • Accelerated time to value.

The benefits of boomerang employees are making them an increasingly attractive option for businesses attempting to fill open positions quickly and effectively. When looking to employ these returning employees, it's critical to go through the interview process, as usual, to ensure they are still an adequate fit for the organization.

Interview questions you might consider for a successful interview with boomerang employees include:

Question 1: What have you done since you left the company?
Inquiring about what these employees have accomplished and experienced since they left the company can help managers and employers understand how they can be of current value. 

Question 2: What skills have you gained as a result of your experiences?
Equally important as the jobs they've held since their departure are the skills they've gained along the way. These skills may be of use to the company, whether it be for an available role or for teaching these skills to co-workers — effectively upskilling your entire workforce.

Question 3: Are there any unresolved issues at the company that we need to know about?
It's also important for managers and employers to recognize how a boomerang employee can be a possible cause of disruption to the company. Unresolved issues can quickly become current problems in the organization, which means it's essential to identify these problems as early as possible.

Question 4: Why are you returning at this time?
While your organization may be happy to have a high-performing employee return, it's critical to understand why they are choosing to come back at this time. This is an effective way for employers to understand what makes their company more attractive than the competition, which can be used to retain top talent and make improvements in the future.

With boomerang employees on the rise, it's worthwhile to consider how they might be a valuable addition to the team once again, and a successful interview is the best way to guarantee this outcome.