Recruiting Former Employees: The Boomerang Effect

Ever heard of the Boomerang Effect in the world of recruitment? No, it’s not about tossing a wooden curve and hoping it comes back. It’s about reaching out to those talented individuals who once contributed to your business, left for various reasons, and are now potential candidates to return. That’s right, I’m talking about recruiting former employees.

Now, I’ve been a Business Advisor for quite some time, and I’ve seen the magic of this strategy firsthand. It’s like catching up with an old friend; there’s familiarity, trust, and a shared history. For Main Street businesses, this approach can be a game-changer. Why? Well, let’s dive into it and explore the ins and outs of harnessing the Boomerang Effect for your business.

The Boomerang Phenomenon Explained:

In my years as a Business Advisor, I’ve seen trends come and go, but the Boomerang Effect? It’s here to stay. At its core, the Boomerang Effect is all about rehiring former employees who left your company but are now open to returning. Think of it as a reunion tour but for your business.

So, why the sudden surge in its popularity? For starters, it’s efficient. Instead of starting from scratch with a new hire, you’re reconnecting with someone who already knows the ropes. Plus, in today’s competitive labor market, businesses are realizing the untapped potential that lies in their alumni network. It’s like having a goldmine of talent that’s just waiting to be rediscovered.

Advantages of Recruiting Former Employees:

Familiarity with Company Operations: This isn’t their first rodeo. Former employees don’t need a guided tour of the office or a rundown of how things work. They can hit the ground running, which means less time spent on training and faster integration into ongoing projects.

Cost Efficiency: Let’s talk numbers. Hiring a new employee can be pricey, especially when you factor in recruitment costs, training, and the time it takes to get them up to speed. You’re cutting down on many of these expenses with a boomerang employee. It’s quality talent at a fraction of the cost.

Trust and Reliability: There’s a certain comfort in the known. You’ve seen their work ethic, you know their strengths, and you’re familiar with how they fit into the company culture. It’s a reduced-risk hire with a track record you can trust.

Enhanced Skill Set: Here’s the exciting part. While they were away, these former employees weren’t just twiddling their thumbs. They’ve gained new experiences, learned new skills, and broadened their horizons. Now, they’re back with even more to offer.

Making the First Move: Reaching Out to Former Employees

Reconnecting with a former employee isn’t as daunting as it might seem. Start with a simple email or a phone call. Express genuine interest in their current endeavors and subtly hint at the opportunities back at the company. Remember, it’s all about rekindling that old connection.

Engage Through Alumni Networks: Many businesses have alumni networks or groups on platforms like LinkedIn. These can be great places to post updates, share company news, and occasionally highlight job openings.

Personalized Approach: A generic message won’t cut it. Tailor your outreach to the individual, mentioning specific projects they were part of or achievements they had at the company.

Open Dialogue: Be transparent about the roles available and any changes that have occurred since they left. This open communication sets the stage for trust.

Crafting the Right Offer:

It’s not just about getting them back; it’s about making them want to stay. This means crafting an offer that’s both enticing and reflective of their worth.

Competitive Salary: They’ve gained more experience since they left, and their salary should reflect that.

Improved Benefits: Whether it’s flexible hours, remote work options, or additional vacation days, consider what perks might appeal to them now.

New Opportunities: Highlight any new roles, projects, or growth opportunities that have emerged since their departure.


In the ever-evolving landscape of recruitment, sometimes the best talent isn’t found by looking forward but by looking back. Re-engaging with former employees can be a goldmine of opportunity, bringing back not just skills and experience, but a sense of familiarity and trust that’s hard to replicate with new hires. It’s a strategy that speaks to the heart of Mainstreet businesses: community, connection, and continuity.

If you’re considering this approach or need guidance on any other recruitment strategies, I’m here to help. Book a free discovery call with me, your trusted Business Advisor, and let’s explore the best ways to strengthen your team and grow your business. After all, sometimes the best way to move forward is by revisiting the past.

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