Too many businesses fail to capitalise on the potential of ‘rebound’ employees, a survey has found.
Training company Wiley Edge found that more than two-thirds (71%) of businesses do not have an offboarding process that supports employees to leave on good terms, and potentially return in the future.
This is despite more than three-quarters (78%) of businesses experiencing problems replacing departing employees. Twenty-one percent struggle to find someone to fill a role before the end of the departing employee’s notice period, and 22% struggle to find a replacement at all.
Wiley Edge’s report, The Hidden Costs of Onboarding Graduate Talent, shows that 22% of businesses regularly have at least one role unfilled at any given time, while 26% regularly have a period of a month or more between an employee leaving and their replacement starting.
Tom Seymour, senior director for HR at Wiley Edge, said: “Many businesses are falling victim to the growing skills shortage, a problem which is being exacerbated by the ongoing great resignation.
“One potential solution to this problem that is often overlooked by employers is the value of boomerang employees.”
Seymour added that “happy former employees” who speak highly of their old workplaces are crucial when it comes to building a strong employer brand.
Former employees that return can be a “much needed source of trained talent”, he said.
“Not only can this help businesses to tackle skills gaps, it also means any time and money spent on employees’ training and professional development will continue to be a valuable investment.”
Of the businesses surveyed by Wiley Edge, 37% said they had been told by returning employees that a strong offboarding process had allowed them to leave on good terms.
A similar proportion said that departing employees were encouraged to give honest feedback, and 29% said the offboarding process celebrated the achievements of the employee who was leaving.
Seymour added: “The skills shortage in many fields is showing little signs of improving, so businesses must start using all the recruitment strategies available to them if they are to overcome the issue.
“In addition to utilising tactics such as more comprehensive training programmes for entry level employees and reskilling initiatives for existing members of staff, maintaining a good relationship with those who are choosing to move may prove invaluable.”
Wiley Edge also found that 28% of businesses had noticed an increase in the number of ex-employees returning, but only 23% said this was regularly the case.