Is it a good or bad idea to hire former employees back? In today's job market, people may exit a company to experience life at a startup, change industry, or even go back to school. So why would you have a no-return policy?

Jack Dorsey left Twitter to found Square between his two stints as CEO of Twitter. And Steve Jobs was a boomerang hire. We need to start treating departing employees as future brand ambassadors, potential customers, hiring references, and even boomerang — returning employees.

Today’s Quote:

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."

- Nelson Mandela

Guest Bio:

Lee McEnany Caraher is the founder and CEO of Double Forte PR & Digital Marketing, a 15-year-old national agency that works with beloved and up- and-coming consumer,technology, and wine brands. An acclaimed communication strategist, Lee is known for her practical solutions to big problems. Lee has a reputation for building cohesive, high- producing teams who get a lot done well and have fun at the same time. She is a straight talker who doesn't hold too many punches, although she does her best to be pleasant about it. Her big laugh and sense of humor have gotten her out of a lot of trouble.

The author of Millennials & Management: The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work, Lee based the book on her experience with epically failing and then succeeding at retaining Millennials in her business. Her second book, The Boomerang Principle:Inspiring Lifetime Loyalty From Employees, published in 2017, is a pragmatic and actionable guide to creating high-performing work cultures ready for the future (available on Amazon).

Lee is a popular guest expert on leadership, intergenerational workplaces, public relations, crisis communications, social media and integrated marketing. She splits her time between San Francisco and New York City, and puts her medieval history degree to work every day.

Show Highlights:

  • What a boomerang hire is
  • Why you should absolutely integrate this practice into your talent acquisition process
  • How to acquire boomerang hires


Why would you hire someone again?

  • If they come back to you it means they liked it there
  • Not going to hire them for the same job
  • They will be even more valuable to your company the second time bring something of value to your company
  • Take less time for them to come up to speed 2-4 months  (up to 12 months for new hires)
  • Boomerangs are the highest performing hires at google
  • More than 45% of millennials say they would absolutely return to a former employer

What would make someone eligible for rehire?

  • Anyone who leaves in good standing
  • Building loyalty beyond employment

Rick’s Input

  • Already familiar with the culture
  • Boomerang trend pioneered by millennials
  • Rehires are less risky-
    • would not choose over someone outstanding (rockstar)
  • The decision should be made based on the exit interview



Understanding why people left

  • Take a long view

When they leave

  • Be happy for them
  • Never counter
  • Ask “how can I help you?”

Steps to create a re-hire program:

Create a program or environment - keep in touch with the people who left on their own volition

  • Set up an Alumni program (company run)  facebook group (not a Linkedin group)
  • Content engagement

Keep the universe up to speed with what you are doing….media relations

  • Birthday card
  • Share wins

Interaction… stay close to the universe of potential

Hiring- share new roles with the alumni group letting them know that hey can came back.

How is Onboarding different?

Rick’s Input:

  • Why did people leave in the first place

    • One survey found 70% of employees say job related training and development opportunities — or lack thereof — impacted their decision to stay at their job.
    • Growth & training
    • Leadership does not have their back
    • Trust - transparency, communication, investment (not perks)
  • Consider re-hiring people who left due to a poor leader (toxic executive)

Key Takeaways

  • If we aren’t open to hiring former employees you are SHRINKING your potential talent pool of great employees
  • Everyone who leaves you can hurt you or help you. Do everything you can to let them help you! Help you find new employees, help you spread the word, help you find good partners.
  • Take the long view – your business will be BETTER all the way around if your employees are loyal to you – NOT because you pay them but because they WANT to. And then every time someone leaves the company you are actually GROWING your footprint not shrinking it.


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