Lessons from Disney: The benefits of boomerang hires 

Written by Tom Lakin  •  Recruitment  •  07 December 2022

Companies such as Disney are banking on boomerang hires to turn their fortunes around. But how can you ensure your rehire has a fairy-tale ending?

As fears of a recession grow and many industries face turbulent times ahead, it’s no surprise that businesses like Disney are rehiring trusted talent with the return of former CEO Bob Iger just two years after he retired in 2020. Hiring new, external talent always carries an element of risk – will an individual be able to replicate the success achieved in previous roles, and will they be happy and productive in your organisation?

Nearly 50% of executive new hires fail within 18 months. It’s an expensive mistake, too – when taking into account recruitment, onboarding and training costs, the outlay on a “bad hire” can be up to three times the employee’s base salary.

However, in times of uncertainty, businesses are increasingly choosing familiarity over the unknown – boomerang hires accounted for 4.3% of hires in 2021, compared to only 2% in 2010. Most interesting is people’s openness to return to a previous employer – up to 48% would be willing to try and get their old job back.

There are clear benefits to hiring people you already know, and who know your business. But be wary of a straight-to-market approach – cutting corners and skipping essential processes won’t save you time and money in the long run.

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