Swoosh! Employees are back – and we love it!

By Scott Signore

Boomerang Employees” are a commonly discussed trend in today’s business environment, and something that’s fully embraced here at Matter, our PR and social media firm. We’ve had several employees – who we love, by the way! – leave for a stint at another agency or an in-house stop, and then return to our team. While we never like to lose good talent, we have found that there is a bright side. Here are a few reasons why a returning employee is a good thing for any agency:

First, it’s about perspective. Having a better understanding of the many positives about a working environment is never a bad thing. Everything from an organization’s day-to-day efficiency to its long-term vision can be better valued and understood when an employee gets a bit of distance and experiences something different. An agency’s culture, which is too often devalued, may be appreciated better after they spend time in a different professional environment.

Second, it’s about experience. Often a returning employee has improved his or her skill set by punching-in for a while at a new gig. They may have had a different set of responsibilities, or perhaps had to embrace a new professional discipline as part of their job. (Blogger note: I held key account sales responsibilities for a short while in a corporate gig, and I often remark how valuable that experience was in my growth as PR person, helping to better connect the dots between communications, marketing and sales.) Gaining experience beyond PR provides an opportunity for an agency to deliver an even higher quality of strategic thinking, communications recommendations and execution.

Third, a returning employee offers the opportunity to hire a tested professional, someone with skills familiar to managers and colleagues. Knowing the professional’s capabilities before he or she left for another gig – in addition to learning what they’ve gained in their time outside – helps when assigning them to client teams and giving them agency-wide responsibilities. Having a solid understanding of their skills eliminates much of the ramp up time at the employee’s start (or return!).

We’ve also seen another side of the boomerang trend emerge lately: former employees returning in a client capacity. There are many benefits of this happening, including seamless account team management, as both sides of the relationship know how the other operates. There’s also the added push of the agency team wanting to produce great results on the former employee’s behalf, which benefits the client, the agency, and the relationship overall. (It’s ideal when everything thrives!)

It’s hugely important to stay in touch with departing staff, as you never know when they may swoosh back into your life.

What did I miss? What are other benefits of boomerang employee?