Why ‘Boomerang Employees’ Might Be In Your Future

October 21, 2016 – The way companies and their employee’s part ways has completely changed. Although job-hopping is at an all-time high, employers today understand that loyalty doesn’t necessarily go away when employees walk out the door. According to just-released analytics from global outplacement and redeployment firm Mullin International, leveraging talent relationships is now seen as critical to the job search process and to a company’s brand.

According to CEO Keith Mullin, “Clients care more than ever about their brand and creating brand ambassadors. Our efforts are to provide clients with the information they need to make better decisions about how to best service exiting employees while strengthening their brand.”

Brand Ambassadors

Times of organizational change can be difficult for any company, impacting transitioning employees as well as those remaining. It can also be a time of risk for an organization’s brand and its financial stability. Mr. Mullin and his team are working on finding ways to measure the overall performance of an outplacement program, including both the transitioning employee’s satisfaction, as well as the ROI for the company.

“When an employee leaves an organization, it is important they feel that the company is there to support and respect them through the transition.” The best way to do this, according to Mr. Mullin, is with rapid outreach and engagement, strong one-on-one consulting and a robust set of research tools. “I think every company going through organizational change understands they have a social responsibility to provide a positive experience to those who are transitioning,” he said. Not only is it the right thing to do, Mr. Mullin added, “but it also protects their brand and creates ambassadors.”

That is where an approach focused on the transitioning employee’s experience and guiding them successfully forward is key. According to Karen O’Boyle, Mullin’s president, as much as 60 percent of departing employees will remain in their former company’s eco-system as buyers, suppliers, influencers or competitors. “The more quickly you can get them settled, the greater the savings and more positive their view of the company will be.”

Leveraging Talent Relationships

In this episode of ‘Talent Talks’ podcast, Mullin International’s CEO, Keith Mullin, provides us with some key insight, trends and a multi-dimensional approach to workforce redeployment. Keith and his team have been collecting data on thousands of transitioning employees for over three decades and we’re here today to break it all down to better understand the employee-employer relationship. Listen Now.

In competition for skilled people, organizations are vying for top talent in a highly transparent job market and becoming laser-focused on their external employment brand. Executives are embracing digital technologies to reinvent the workplace, said Ms. O’Boyle, focusing on diversity and inclusion as a business strategy, and realizing that, without a strong learning culture, they will not succeed.

Boomerang Employees

One recurring trend that Mullin International continues to see is focused on the patterns of employees leaving large companies to have new experiences with a startup, to try a new industry, or even to go back to school and further their degree. In the past, companies would sometimes discourage the concept of re-hiring former employees, but now it is more common for them to recruit past high potential’s back into their businesses. An employee that leaves a company for any given reason and eventually comes back at a later time is called a ‘boomerang.’

Boomerangs can be exceptionally valuable to a company’s growth because of their previous affiliation and familiarity with its culture. They already have an established relationship with their employer that strengthens their value, and in turn, increases their retention rates.

“A boomerang that has been absent from a company for a period of time also brings value directly to the business as they are carrying new experiences, connections, points-of-view, and even potential customers,” said Ms. O’Boyle. It is crucial that employers understand the necessity of maintaining a positive relationship with an employee in the long run, added Mr. Mullin, as loyalty should not go away upon exiting the door.

“If someone was a top level talent, you want to let them leave on good terms, and then you want to maintain contact,” said Scott A. Scanlon, founding chairman and CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media. “After all, they may eventually return and bring with them additional skills they’ve acquired in the interim. Also, take care to shore up remaining members of the team who are most directly impacted by the departure. Keep them informed, supervised, motivated, and on track – because they are suddenly much more susceptible to poaching.”

Networking Leads the Way

The time to fill a position is much quicker using employee referrals than other types of hiring mechanisms. On average, it takes 29 days to hire a referred candidate, compared to 39 days to hire a candidate through a job posting or 55 days to hire a candidate through a career site, according to research by JobVite.

According to Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer (CHRO) for CareerBuilder: “Job seekers may have more of an edge in today’s market as employers grow increasingly competitive for labor – but they need to follow new rules of engagement,” said Ms. Haefner. “For employers, it’s important to remember that the candidate experience starts from the very first click and can impact how effectively a company is able to recruit quality candidates, the popularity of its employer brand, the strength and quality of its referrals, and even its bottom line.”

It’s also vital to remember that companies aren’t done with you if you don’t get the job offer. Fifty four percent of employers re-engage with past candidates who were not given job offers. More than half (53 percent) of employers say a resume doesn’t provide enough information for them to assess whether someone is a good fit for the job. They want to see a cover letter, professional portfolio where applicable, recommendations and links to social media profiles.

Mullin International recently analyzed thousands of candidates on where they had the most success in finding jobs. The results, based on data compiled on 10,000-plus candidates over the last three years, may change the way a candidate approaches his or her job search or reinforce it. The data is broken out by job level, which clearly tells us that there is a correlation between job level and job source.


“Companies continue to review talent and lines of business focused on the greatest return on investment,” said Mr. Mullin. As a result, “employees may lose jobs and either get redeployed internally or are encouraged to seek new and exciting careers. It has been humbling to be part of that effort and offer best-in-class support to help transition people into their best possible new roles.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief and Adam Shapiro, Director of Marketing & Brand Management — Hunt Scanlon Media

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