Boomerang employees, who voluntarily leave your company and then want to come back, have proven to be one of the most reliable sources for high-quality talent.
The insurance industry can look forward to rapid growth in 2022, but only if companies effectively manage their investments in people and emerging technologies, according to a report by Deloitte.
The pandemic is still covering us in a blanket of uncertainties on every level, and the industry continues to face issues related to regulation, sustainability and changing customer preferences. All of these factors create speed bumps that could slow your growth.
To counter these challenges, your top priority should be recruiting and retaining the right people. You need people who can maintain that critical human touch with customers to balance the technologies that make your business efficient and vibrant. A great place to find them is in your boomerang employee population.
Who are boomerang employees? They are employees who voluntarily leave your company and then want to come back. Boomerang rehires have proven to be one of the most reliable sources for high-quality talent.
Every organization should make certain they offer a work environment that gives employees what they want. This is the best way to prevent potential boomerangs from leaving in the first place, but it's also the best way to win them back if they leave. With current talent shortages, it makes sense to make recruiting easier and faster by rehiring the people you already know can do the job and fit into your community.
This is the opposite of what was typically done in the past, when employers automatically disqualified anyone who had quit because they were “disloyal."
In reality, there are a variety of reasons employees choose to quit: higher position or better pay, more education or new skills, pursuing a passion or dream, starting a business, relocating, at-home parenting or care, health issues or lack of opportunity in a current job. There's nothing in these reasons that should keep you from reconsidering them.
The Value of Rehiring Boomerang Employees
Far from being disloyal, here are three reasons boomerangs have the potential to be some of your best “new" employees:
1) They're happy to be back. They are more productive and engaged than first-time employees and more likely to stay longer. They most likely have a positive attitude that raises morale and satisfaction levels for the entire team.
2) They already know the drill. A returning employee will already know your culture, making it easier to reintegrate and be up and running faster. As a result, it takes less time and money to interview, onboard and train them.
3) They have grown professionally. A boomerang employee will probably return with additional skills, experience and capabilities that benefit your business.
Give Them Reasons to Stay
Start with your culture. Build a place where people want to be and have every reason to stay. Change your mindset from top-down management and hierarchy to what I like to call a “Camelot Community," which is all about relationships, trust and common values. Here's what a Camelot Community looks like:
1) Leaders are focused on their team. Leadership is human-centric, showing empathy, kindness, respect and concern for the well-being of people first before anything else. Leaders listen to employees and act on what they say. Leaders have the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and transparent. Leaders and managers show that they pay attention by recognizing people in the way they personally prefer to be celebrated.
2) Employees are part of the round table. People have decision-making authority and micro-management isn't allowed. Employees have flexibility and choice in where and how they work.
3) New—and returning—faces are welcomed. Candidates are given a warm and personal experience backed by the reality of how it feels after they're hired. The employee referral program attracts top performers and compensates referring employees generously.
4) The team is set up for success. Policies and practices are inclusive and fair. There is ample opportunity for career advancement and personal and professional growth.
Never doubt or forget that the employee experience matters to your customers, especially in the highly relationship-oriented insurance world. When your employees thrive, your business grows.
Kathleen Quinn Votaw is the CEO of TalenTrust, a strategic recruiting and human capital consulting firm.