Your office could have a few more familiar faces, also known as boomerang employees, as cleared personnel move from contractor to contractor or out to the commercial sector and back to the DoD. The ‘Great Resignation’ wave is also said to continuing this boomerang effect — a worker who returns to a company after a hiatus elsewhere.

From a recruiting perspective, are boomerang employees a bad thing? Absolutely not. Boomerangs are probably even less dangerous than an unknown hire because companies can assume that they will perform similarly to the way they did supporting the company previously.


The Corporate Culture and Boomerang Employee Study by Workplace Trends says that 40% of employees said they could be interested in boomeranging back to a company where they had previously worked and 33% of HR professionals agree that being acquainted with a company’s culture, along with less initial training, are great benefits to hiring these boomerangs.

Here are a few tactics to attracting these former employees back to your company.

1. Give a parting gift.

Don’t be salty – if the employee did decent work, has an active clearance, and didn’t burn any major bridges, make them feel truly valued as they depart. Little gifts or accolades go a long way – so make that exit interview an enjoyable one.

2. Offer incentives to coming back.

As you hope to recruit a boomerang, recall what their previous working situation was – did they have a management role, and if not, do they deserve one now? Salary increases are obviously an incentive.

3. Keep in contact.

Recruitment marketing is so important, and timing is key – have your list of boomerang employees to stay connected to and be sure you connect with them on other social networking platforms. You may just be the first recruiter to send them that “are you happy email” and they are more inclined to respond to someone they know.

4. Have a special referral program.

Boomerang employees are less risky, and less risk can be worth a decent amount. Think about offering a higher referral bonus or some other perk to those that come back to you.

5. Quid pro quo with their current company.

Let’s say your employee is toying with the option of becoming a boomerang employee, but doesn’t want to leave their current company out to dry. Try a candidate quid pro quo with their recruiting team!

Ron Kness, ClearanceJobs contributor notes that going back to a company can be a huge positive for both the defense contractor and the employee. “Employees often have to leave a company and experience the ‘outside’ before realizing how good they really had it at their old company.”

Use this ‘the grass is not always greener’ mentality as a sell when you are trying to re-recruit those employees back.



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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸