Building a Case for Boomerang Hires

When proving the value of an alumni program to firm leadership, it is important to think about the positive impact that boomerang hires can have on your firm. An alumni program helps to nurture the relationship with former employees and facilitates the rehiring process if and when they wish to return to your organization. Sourcing rehires via the alumni program can directly impact costs associated with hiring and on-boarding, therefore factoring into the alumni program’s RoI. Regardless of what the business objectives are for your firm’s alumni program, this blog examines how boomerang hires can offset major expenses for your firm and help make a case for your program.

The positive shift in the mindset around employees who decide to return to a previous employer allows firms to recognize the cost-saving value that rehires represent. Rather than seeing it as a betrayal when employees decide to leave, more and more organizations are viewing these leavers as potential rehires and understand the value they can add to their organization. An article published by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association notes that 52% of workers are willing to return to former employers, and 94% of managers would consider rehiring alumni.

This shift in thinking allows firms to leverage the cost-saving value that rehires represent. There are costs from the time an employee decides to leave your firm to the time a new employee is fully on-boarded and proficient in their new role.

“Many studies show that the total cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5-2X annual salary"
-Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder at Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP


There are two expenses that boomerang hires can directly impact, therefore saving your firm money.

One major cost associated with hiring a new employee is the agency or headhunter fee. An internal job board on an IntraWorlds | Alumni site allows former employees to see open positions within your organization. A boomerang hire directly offsets this cost where applicable, and can be a significant percentage of the hire’s annual salary. If sourced through your alumni program, this also factors into the program’s RoI.

There is a general belief that hiring a former employee can also reduce the costs associated with on-boarding. ERE Recruiting calculates that new hires are 25% effective during their first four weeks, 50% effective during the next four weeks, and 75% effective during the following four weeks. In contrast, a boomerang hire should on-board in half this time. Based on the experience of IntraWorlds clients, rehires also have an average of 10% longer tenures than other hires. This is because the hiring decision is much more informed from both sides.

Even if rehiring isn’t a primary objective for your alumni program, the value of boomerang hires cannot be ignored. Contact us to learn about other ways to measure the value of your alumni program, or see our RoI whitepaper for more information.

Topics: Alumni Management