I’m sure by now everyone has heard of the Boomerang Generation. Wikipedia defines Boomerangs Generation as “One of several terms applied to the current generation of young adults in Western culture. They are so named for the frequency with which they choose to cohabitate with their parents after a brief period of living on their own–thus boomeranging back to their place of origin. This cohabitation can take many forms, ranging from situations that mirror the high dependency of pre-adulthood to highly independent, separate-household arrangements.”

Now you likely haven’t heard of Boomerang Employees; I know this because Wikipedia doesn’t yet have definition for it. In my view, Boomerang Employees are people that have left a company for pursue other opportunities only to return a few years later. In a previous blog post we discussed how previous generations viewed this as “job hopping” and demonstrated a lack of loyalty. Times have changed. Few people are interested in the proverbial gold watch, instead are focused on demonstrating their abilities to adapt to new situations and are comfortable changing employers or even careers every few years.

Here’s the best reason to consider hiring a boomerang employee:

According to Ira S. Wolfe of Success Performance Systems, writing in Boomerang Employees: Hiring Backwards:

Hiring a boomerang employee has one of the highest returns on recruiting investment an employer can ask for. The cost to re-hire a boomerang employee has been reported to be 1/3 to 2/3 the cost of hiring a “virgin” employee. Little time or effort must be invested in getting to know the candidate. Boomerangs can be valuable to an organization because they understand the culture. They have a history with the business, but bring a fresh perspective from the outside. During their absence, there is a good chance that boomerangs have learned new skills and strategies, achieving success in a different setting.

I certainly wouldn’t recommend that you make the hiring of boomerang employees your primary recruiting strategy, but you can’t deny the benefits. If a past employee left on good terms, did a good job and is a fit for a new role with the company, you owe to the company to cast aside the old mindset and consider re-hiring that boomerang.