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Employers should stay in touch with their ‘boomerangs’, says Hays

Updated: 14 Apr 2016

It is a sensible strategic move to maintain contact with former employees, otherwise known as potential ‘boomerang’ employees, says recruiting experts Hays in China. 

‘Boomerang’ employees are people who left an organisation, for whatever reason, but who return to the organisation at some future point. Also referred to as ‘hiring backwards’, employees who return to an organisation after time spent working elsewhere bring back their corporate knowledge, skills and experience.  

There are many employers who see a resignation as a personal rejection of the company, but this is not necessarily the case,” says Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China.  

“Perhaps the employee left for a challenge you were unable to provide at the time, or to work overseas, or for personal reasons that would not impede a return at a future date. In such situations, and for staff who you value, it is a sensible strategic move to maintain contact with these potential ‘boomerang’ employees. 

“You know that they already possess the required skills, experience and knowledge, and they require less training than someone new to the business as they know your systems and processes. The recruitment cost is lower and their productivity is likely to be high since they return with a renewed sense of commitment - their time away has reinforced just how good an organisation yours is to work for. As a result, they’re likely to be retained longer,” he says.  

According to Simon, you can take a formal or casual approach to keeping in touch with your former employees. As he explains: “Some organisations choose to have a formal alumni program run by a dedicated human resources professional and involving not only regular communications but also regular networking functions.  

“Others take a casual approach by using an online forum to allow former employees to keep in touch and to share company news or job opportunities.  For example, alumni Facebook groups are emerging as a highly effective and hassle-free method of building a network of skilled, experienced and knowledgeable former staff.” 

Another benefit of keeping in touch with former employees is that they can be a great source of referrals.  “They are aware of your organisation’s culture and know who is likely to fit and thrive in such a culture,” explains Simon. “Having a former employee speak highly of your organisation is a powerful and motivating endorsement. So promote your referral scheme in your alumni communications,” he said.  

In China Hays operates from four local offices: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people. 

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About Hays

Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.  

Hays Specialist Recruitment  (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing. 

Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company. As at 31 December 2014 Hays employed 8,748 staff operating from 244 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2014, Hays placed around 57,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 212,000 people into temporary assignments. 24% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific. 

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.