Boomerang employees are back

Boomerang employees are back

Rehiring previous employees is a trend that's going to be in full swing this year as IT departments demand specific skill sets and technology experience.

"We have noticed an increased appreciation for the boomerang or rebound employee in the past year or so. Companies believe the previous experience with an employee reduces the risk of a bad hire," president at The Herman Group, a consulting and research firm that specialises in workforce issues, Joyce Gioia, said.

If an alumni organisation or outreach program for valued former employees doesn't already exist, your company should establish one, she said. That way, former employees were aware of open positions, and all the information needed to rehire staff quickly was readily available.

An employee of Celestial Seasonings, David Rahbany, said his return to the company had more to do with luck than any formal outreach program. He left the organisation in 2000 following its acquisition by The Hain Food Group (now The Hain Celestial Group) because he feared the corporate culture he was accustomed to would change. He also wanted to take advantage of the IT boom while he had the chance.

"I was eager to pursue other IT-related fields before the bubble burst," he said. "Couple that with my concerns over the culture after we were acquired, and it just made sense to move on."

But he didn't stay away long. About a year later, unsatisfied with the culture at his new company, Rahbany ran into his former employer, Mo Siegel, founder of Celestial Seasonings, at a hardware store.

Rahbany told Siegel he wished he had never left and was happy to hear Siegel was willing to check for new opportunities within the company.

When Rahbany left, he was the systems administrator; he returned as an IT analyst. His role changed from managing computers and servers to focusing more on integration projects for the company as a whole.

For example, when the company acquired other companies, he would integrate their networks as well as sales data into centralised reporting systems."

Although his responsibilities had grown and he was more challenged, he also was back with a familiar group of co-workers.

"It was a nice relief to get back with some of the people I had worked with and to return to the corporate culture I liked. It hadn't changed," Rahbany said.

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