It’s no secret that the skilled trades (e.g., plumbing and HVAC) are experiencing a labor shortage like most of us have never seen before. In the wake of the resurging construction market, there’s a whole lot of projects to do…but not enough people to do them. Uponor manufactures PEX piping for the plumbing and HVAC industries and as a manufacturer, the labor shortage is in full effect on our end, too (read: we feel your pain).


Recruiters, managers and business owners have been coached in the last few years that they need to be putting all their energy into attracting young millennials entering the workforce. And while this is a great solution that needs to be a part of the long-term plan, it’s not the only option.


Have you ever considered hiring a boomeranger? Steve Swanson, national trainer at Uponor, believes hiring job-jumpers is good for the economy and your business — win-win!

What’s a boomeranger?

A boomeranger is a former employee who gets hired again by the same company. (Get it? They go away and then come back around again.) Finding qualified skilled workers is difficult — especially in this economy — so why not hire someone who has done the job before? I’m not talking about hiring folks who were terrible at their job, but hiring those who left with no hard feelings for a new opportunity.


If a worker left in the first place, why bring them back?

Here are four good reasons.

  1. You already know their work ethic and competency, so it’s not a gamble for you.
  2. They already know your culture and expectations, so it’s not a gamble for them either.
  3. When they left the company for a new opportunity, they likely learned new skills and will bring those back in their tool belt.
  4. They don’t require nearly as much training, which is a big bonus during a labor shortage.


Still not entirely convinced? Read Steve Swanson’s article in Contractor magazine titled, “Hiring job-jumpers: go find yourself a Boomeranger!” to learn not only how to find boomerangers, but how to train them as well.