How to catch a ‘boomerang worker’

by L&D17 Nov 2016
A new report by ManpowerGroup Solutions highlights the benefits of a multigenerational workforce and provides some helpful hiring strategies.

The global study revealed that 34% of global candidates perceive their age as their biggest barrier to career development.

However, an article published in PR Newswire pointed out that this fear is unfounded as many organisations embrace generational diversity as a way to overcome talent shortages.

Some of the ways organisations are doing this is by hiring “un-retirees” or “boomerang workers” – employees who leave a company for a period of time and then later return to their former employer.

The article cites a new paper, “Clocking Back In: Boomerang Workers,” in which ManpowerGroup Solutions shares seven strategies for attracting and managing this important source of experience and knowledge.

“People are living longer and working older, and many employers now have five generations to motivate and manage,” said Sarah Peiker, Head of RPO Practice, ManpowerGroup Solutions Europe.

“Diversity, integration and inclusion isn't just the right thing to do, it makes clear business sense. Studies agree – diverse organisations are more productive, innovative and profitable than those that are not inclusive.”

Kate Donovan, senior vice-president of ManpowerGroup Solutions and Global RPO president, said that “whether motivated financially or intellectually, more retirees are returning to work than ever before.”  

ManpowerGroup Solutions’ latest Talent Shortage Survey shows 40% of employers globally are having difficulties filling roles, employers should see this largely untapped talent pool of ‘boomerang workers’ as a valuable source for filling talent gaps.

Successful employers recognize the importance of a customized strategy for cultivating this large and highly-skilled talent pool. The paper provides seven strategies for building a talent pool of boomerang workers, including:
  1. Open the door before they walk out of it. Planting the seed for future part-time work with employees who are about to retire opens the door for potential opportunities later on. Employers who broach the idea first can put their companies at the top of the list for returning talent.
  2. Leverage referrals. Providing incentives for un-retirees to refer other potential hires can also be a way to tap industry talent from competitive organizations.
  3. Align reward structures and emphasize flexibility. Flexibility is as important as compensation in recruiting and retaining boomerang workers. Phased retirement (gradually reducing the number of hours worked each week or the number of weeks worked over a given period of time) can also be a win-win strategy.