What's A Boomerang Candidate?

Post by
Brian Mooney
July 9, 2019

As a Recruiter, it's not easy hearing one of your hires, a solid employee who everyone loves, is giving their notice to go work at some other company.  This scenario can really put a damper on your week, and it's even worse for the team.

Generally speaking, companies take employees leaving too personally. All that time and money right out the window. Most people are afraid to give too much notice because they fear companies will tell them to get out.

What if it didn't need to be this way? What if really good employees left your company, gained experience, and came back?  

Recently, I talked to someone who left their job at a great company, to go back to the job they had previously.  She is going to bring a whole new set of skills and experience back to the same department that gave her the experience she needed to land the job she's leaving. This is considered a "Boomerang Candidate"

I asked how it came about and the answer was simple. Her old manager kept in touch and when a new job finally opened up she reached out.

If you can think of even one employee that you would welcome back with open arms, then you will want to set up a Boomerang Talent Pipeline.


Here are 3 things you need to do to get build a pipeline of 'alumni' candidates.

  1. Build & Maintain Relationships: All relationships require some maintenance. When you onboard an employee set up some reminders to check-in with them, grab a coffee, or go out of your way to connect with them. Do the same when they leave.
  2. Celebrate Departures: Most people don't expect much when they leave a company. Give managers a budget to send employees off with a bang. Leave a lasting impression with something personalized so they walk out feeling positive.
  3. Start an Alumni Group: Whether it's Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack or something else, create a place where Alumni can stay connected. This will double as your way to push new job opportunities and news that will keep your company top of mind.

A couple of other things to consider that might help nurture this group: lifetime discounts on products to keep them as a customer and an alumni referral bonus that will get them talking about your company to other people. Don't forget to ask them if it's okay to add them to the group during their exit interview.

Are you in an alumni group? Are you nurturing boomerang candidates? I'd love to hear from you! Shoot me a message at brian@nextwavehire.com