More than two-thirds (71%) of businesses do not facilitate good rebound recruitment.

The research from Wiley Edge found that they do not have an offboarding process in place designed to enable employees to leave on good terms,

This is an activity which could leave the door open for a potential future return.

“Many businesses are falling victim to the growing skills shortage, a problem which is being exacerbated by the ongoing ‘Great Resignation’” says Senior Director, HR at Wiley Edge, Tom Seymour.


Rebound recruitment and the skills shortage 

At the same time, more than three quarters (78%) of businesses are currently experiencing problems replacing departing employees.

Around a fifth (21%) of businesses said they struggle to replace departing employees before the end of their notice period, and 22 percent are struggling to find suitable replacements.

As a result, the research, published in The Hidden Costs of Onboarding Graduate Talent report, showed that 22 percent of businesses regularly have one or more roles unfilled at any given time,

It was also found that more than a quarter (26%) regularly have a period of one month or more between an employee leaving and their replacement starting.


What can employers do?

Mr Seymour suggests that “businesses should always ensure they have a strong offboarding process, as happy former employees who speak highly of their old workplaces are an important tool when it comes to building a strong employer brand.

“However, employees who have left on positive terms may also be more inclined to return to the business at some point in the future, creating a much-needed source of trained talent. 

“Not only can this help businesses to tackle skills gaps, it also means any time and money spent on employees’ training and professional development will continue to be a valuable investment.”


Returning employees

Interestingly, 28 percent of businesses said they have noticed an increase in the number of ex-employees returning to the business.

However, only 23 percent said that former employees regularly do so, and a quarter (25%) said that they almost never do, suggesting many organisations are failing to capitalise on the opportunity.  

While 37 percent of businesses said they have been told by returning employees that a strong offboarding process allowed them to leave on good terms, only 35 percent of businesses said that departing employees are encouraged to give honest feedback.

Also, 29 percent said their offboarding process celebrates the achievements of the departing employee and 26 percent give employees the chance to have an exit interview with a senior member of the business.

“The skills shortage in many fields is showing little signs of improving, so businesses must start using all the recruitment strategies available to them if they are to overcome the issue,” says Mr Seymour.

“In addition to utilising tactics such as more comprehensive training programmes for entry-level employees and reskilling initiatives for existing members of staff, maintaining a good relationship with those who are choosing to move on may prove invaluable.”





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.