Backdoor Hiring Trends

Exploring Rising Trends in Backdoor Hiring

Wilson Cole

In the dynamic world of recruitment and talent acquisition, innovative approaches are constantly emerging to meet the evolving needs of organizations. One such trend that has been gaining momentum in recent years is backdoor hiring.

Backdoor hiring, or "boomerang hiring" or "returnship programs," involves rehiring former employees or alumni. This practice has seen a significant rise due to its myriad benefits for employers and employees.

In this blog post, we will delve into the rising trends in backdoor hiring, exploring why organizations are increasingly turning to this strategy and how it can shape the future of talent acquisition.

Understanding Backdoor Hiring

Backdoor hiring is the process of returning former employees who have left the organization for various reasons, such as pursuing other opportunities, personal development, or even retirement.

These individuals are known quantities to the organization, possessing institutional knowledge, skills, and an understanding of the company's culture, making them valuable assets. Backdoor hiring can take various forms, including:

  • Boomerang employees: These individuals voluntarily leave the organization and return to work in different roles or departments.
  • Returnship programs are structured programs that enable former employees to rejoin the organization, often with a clear career development plan.
  • Alumni networks: Companies actively maintain relationships with former employees and leverage this network to identify potential rehires.

Reasons for the Rising Trend

Several factors contribute to the increasing popularity of backdoor hiring:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Rehiring former employees is often more cost-effective than recruiting new talent. Organizations save on recruitment costs, as they don't need to invest in external recruitment agencies or advertising job openings. Additionally, former employees typically require less time to onboard and adapt to the company's culture and processes, which leads to quicker productivity.
  • Knowledge and skills: Returning employees bring a wealth of knowledge and skills they have acquired elsewhere. This can bring a refreshing injection of new ideas and best practices into the organization while maintaining continuity.
  • Cultural fit: Former employees already know the company's culture and values. This makes it easier to ensure they align with the organization's goals and work well with their colleagues.
  • Reduced risk: Hiring decisions always involve risk, as new employees may not perform as expected or fit well within the organization. The organization minimizes these risks with backdoor hiring since they already have experience working with returning employees.
  • Boost morale: A successful backdoor hiring program can boost employee morale and engagement. It sends a positive message to current employees that the company values its alumni and offers opportunities for growth and development.
  • Diverse perspectives: Former employees who have gained new experiences elsewhere can bring diverse perspectives and fresh ideas to the organization, leading to innovation and growth.
  • Talent shortage: In today's competitive job market, finding the right talent can be challenging. Backdoor hiring provides a ready pool of known and trusted candidates, reducing the need to compete for external talent.

Trends and Strategies in Backdoor Hiring

The rising trend of backdoor hiring has led to the emergence of several strategies and best practices that organizations are adopting. Here are some of the notable trends and strategies:

  • Structured returnship programs: More organizations are formalizing their backdoor hiring processes through structured returnship programs. These programs typically include mentorship, training, and a defined career path to ensure a smooth transition for returning employees.
  • Alumni engagement: Companies are actively maintaining relationships with alumni by hosting events, providing networking opportunities, and keeping in touch. Doing so creates a talent pool of individuals familiar with the organization and its values.
  • Technology-driven solutions: Technology is playing a significant role in the resurgence of backdoor hiring. HR tech platforms and software are being used to manage alumni networks and track the career progress of former employees, making it easier to identify potential rehires.
  • Flexible work arrangements: Backdoor hiring is often accompanied by flexible work arrangements. Organizations are increasingly open to allowing returning employees to work remotely or part-time, catering to their changing needs and lifestyles.
  • Employee referrals: Current employees can play a crucial role in backdoor hiring. Encouraging employees to refer former colleagues for open positions can effectively tap into the backdoor hiring talent pool.
  • Skill assessment and development: Organizations invest in skill assessment and development programs to bridge gaps in their returning employees' skills. This ensures they are fully equipped to meet the organization's evolving needs.


Backdoor hiring is a rising trend in talent acquisition that offers a win-win situation for employers and employees. The benefits of cost-effectiveness, knowledge retention, and a cultural fit make it an appealing strategy for organizations looking to stay competitive in today's job market.

As this trend continues to grow, organizations that embrace backdoor hiring are likely to have a distinct advantage in attracting and retaining top talent. By implementing structured returnship programs, fostering alumni networks, and leveraging technology; companies can maximize the potential of this trend to meet their staffing needs and drive innovation.

Backdoor hiring may become a standard practice in talent acquisition, shaping the future of the workforce.

For more information, book a FREE demo with a Backdoor Hire Specialist.

Wilson Cole

Wilson Cole

Founder and CEO of Adams, Evens & Ross NC, LLC, the nation's largest credit and collection agency designed exclusively for the staffing and recruiting industry. In 2008, he was inducted into Inc. magazine's, "Inc. 500" as CEO of Adams, Evens & Ross NC, LLC, the 307th fastest-growing privately-held company in America. This exclusive group of other Inc. 500 CEOs includes; Bill Gates of Microsoft and Larry Ellison of Oracle. In 2007, Recruiting & Staffing Solutions Magazine named him "The Billion Dollar Man", based on successful collections of more than 1 Billion dollars in past due debt. With a career spanning 30 years as CEO of Adams, Evens & Ross NC, LLC, he's in the business of getting clients paid.