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3 Types of Applicants Who Could Ease Hiring and Retention Troubles

3 Types of Applicants Who Could Ease Hiring and Retention Troubles

In 2021, the mass exodus from the workforce known as The Great Resignation began to seriously impact organizations of all sizes as the labor force drastically shrank–causing a major labor shortage that employers are still dealing with more than a year later. 

In fact, with the number of resignations in 2022 resembling that of last year coupled with 4.3 million people quitting their jobs this past May, the Great Resignation doesn’t appear to be winding down any time soon. That means that you’ll need to be even more creative with your recruiting and retention efforts in order to fill those job vacancies.  

These days, while navigating a tight labor market, HR professionals are scrambling to find the magic ingredients that will help them attract, hire, and retain talented and qualified candidates for their organizations. Despite robust benefits packages, higher pay, and flexible scheduling, many organizations still feel the pain of high turnover rates and a lack of qualified candidates.

Luckily, there are three sectors of the job market that may be able to provide relief, as they already come equipped with many of the skills that employers are looking for, which could help decrease training costs while increasing the rate of productivity.

Let’s look more closely at these three trending groups of people.


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Boomerang Employees

In case you’ve never heard the term before, boomerang employees refer to those individuals who return to a previous organization where they were once employed. According to a recent Visier Insights Report, nearly one-third of all employees are rehires. In terms of percentages, 29% of workers were boomerang employees in 2020–and while that percentage dipped slightly to 27% in 2021, it has increased to 28% in just the first four months of 2022, indicating that this practice may continue to trend upward.

What makes boomerang employees so attractive is that they already have a history with an organization. Visier found that more than a quarter of these workers were already high performing when they left, so they have a great track record in terms of productivity. When they return to their previous organization, it’s usually with a strengthened skillset that lands them a better position with higher compensation–on average about 28% more pay in 2022.

Another consideration is that because these individuals are already familiar with the company’s policies and culture, they would require less training–and that could result in cost savings for the organization.



Think for a moment about our military service members. They are disciplined individuals, highly trained in problem-solving skills–especially in the face of adversity. In addition, they come equipped with technical skills, real-world experience, and a resilient work ethic, so when the going gets tough, they’re likely to lean into problems in order to discover solutions instead of running from them–a mindset that employers should find attractive.

There are a variety of resources available when it comes to finding and hiring veterans. Here are a few places to get your search started.

  1. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes
  2. Department of Defense SkillBridge
  3. Military Transition Centers



A recent AARP survey found that twenty-one percent of respondents who retired during the Covid-19 pandemic left the workforce earlier than they had planned but many have realized that they weren’t quite ready to make that leap and now want to jump back into the workforce. In fact, AARP found that thirty-eight percent of retirees over the age of 50 said that if it weren’t for the pandemic, they would have never considered retiring early. 

In addition to not feeling ready, many are also feeling the pinch of inflation, as their buying power on fixed incomes and declining investment values continues to shrink–compelling them to return to work.

Hiring retirees is a great asset for organizations, since they not only come with a plethora of skills they’ve acquired during their decades of service but they also bring a proven work ethic, knowledge and wisdom that could benefit many organizations when it comes to management, productivity and growth. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that participation in the labor force for those workers aged 65-69 and those aged 70-74 has surpassed pre-pandemic numbers, suggesting that many companies may have already recognized the value of hiring retired folks.


So, if your organization is feeling the struggle of attracting and acquiring top talent in this rough hiring climate, then perhaps you haven’t expanded your search to include these three groups who have tried and true track records. 



Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics

State of HR Report 2023

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