For most, 2020 has been an unprecedented year; one filled with uncertainty and coping with the trickle-down effect that the pandemic has had, particularly among the employed. As the year draws to a close, we can confidently say that the light at the end of the tunnel is near, with the economy reopening, and companies looking to fill the seats that previously fell vacant. Giving respite to those who were impacted, many companies have tapped into their employee alumni network to bring these individuals back into the fold, following a trend that is popularly known as boomerang employees.
While the concept of boomerang employees has gained prominence in recent times, its application can be traced back to 1997, when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs rejoined the organization after a break of 12 years. Similarly, Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder is also one of the most famous examples of a boomerang employee, having rejoined the company in 2011, after a gap of three years.
In the new normal, following the practice of hiring boomerang employees is not only a means of ensuring employee morale, but has also been proven to be cost-effective. Owing to the candidate’s familiarity with the organization’s processes and mission, this significantly reduces recruitment and training costs. In fact, the cost-per-hire of such employees is typically one-to-two thirds lesser than that of a fresh hire.
The Way Forward
As companies forge ahead with their recruitment plans, we believe that 2021 will be defined by targeted hiring keeping employee well-being and emotional support at the core of their strategies. Given that most companies will either continue to work from home, or operate under a hybrid model, organizations will be mindful of their recruit’s mental well-being while operating under such circumstances. Employees can expect to see guidelines that define and adhere to work timings, and cut off times for emails and calls, helping promote the balance that they need.
What’s even more interesting to see is the emergence of new-age trends that will make hiring a more process-driven activity. In addition to hiring boomerang employees, some anticipated hiring trends for 2021 include:
- Internal talent mobility solutions: Internal talent mobility refers to the fluid movement of employees within an organization such that their skills and passions align with the needs of the business. Embracing internal talent mobility enables organizations to seek alternatives to layoffs, such as redeployment from a slow area of the business to a high-demand area of the business, either on a temporary or permanent basis. In the long run, internal talent mobility will help companies retain institutional knowledge and allow employees to upskill, and showoff previously unknown talents. By implementing this method of talent redeployment, organizations will be able to innovate, and strengthen their workforce, even under difficult economic conditions. Furthermore, internal talent mobility also creates a culture of loyalty within the organization, which will have a lasting impact on your image.
- Leveraging talent directories for talent mobility: While we speak about internal talent mobility, we understand that in some cases it might not be entirely possible and some organizations have no choice but to let go of employees. In such cases, company branded talent directories have emerged as a solution that entails a public-facing, searchable website enabling employers to elevate highly active job seeker profiles to relevant hiring managers. These directories connect potential employers with talent possessing specific skills, and usher in the ability for companies to source fresh talent from companies within their ecosystem.
- The rise of freelance and gig employment: One of the most defining outcomes in the job market, has been the rise of freelance and gig workers. In a recent report by ASSOCHAM, it was predicted that the gig economy in India will grow at a CAGR of 17% to touch USD 455 billion by 2023. Having the freedom to work remotely, flexible hours, and the opportunity to explore multiple fields at the same time has found favour among corporates, and will continue to be one of their criteria for job searches.
- The use of HR and performance analytics: In a decade marked by the increased use of technology and data-driven processes, the same has permeated into the hiring process, and is a crucial part of recruitment today. Using data and analytics, this can be used to gauge patterns and trends from resumes, applications, tests and even candidate’s social media profiles. By understanding this data, and comparing it with other candidates, organizations will be in a stronger position to hire the best fit for the role.
The Bottom Line
The pandemic has redefined an organization’s approach to talent mobility. As companies move forward, recruitment policies and strategies will need to be redefined to ensure smooth functioning and sustainable growth, for everyone involved.