Should We Hire Boomerang Employees?

January 12, 201711:27 am784 views

When an employee submits a resignation letter, most of us may not expect much of meeting or getting in touch with them again in the future, unless for particular interpersonal interests. However, after months or years when the company advertises new job openings and this former employee shows up as one of the candidates, this could surprise hiring managers who never saw this coming.

In an era defined by economic insecurity, the phenomenon of boomerang employees is but inevitable. Leaving voluntarily was once regarded as a form of betrayal, but it’s now considered as a means to seek new experiences. As the old saying goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” There are times when employees are attracted to better job opportunities with other companies.

Nevertheless, sometimes the reality is much different from expectations, so they decide to come back to their former employer. Besides, more and more Millennials today use job-hopping as a strategy to acquire much knowledge and insights about a company, to choose to stay back.

The idea of hiring boomerang employees for the same position with a former employer, which was once frowned on is no longer a strange notion anymore. In fact, more managers are willing to accept the return of former talented employees, when they choose to reapply and rejoin.

Of course, since they are former employees, they cannot be simply accepted back into the workforce, considering the fact that they left voluntarily. Just like other candidates, they are required to clear interviews and undergo series of tests to prove their competencies and skills to be termed as a good fit for the job role.

See: Annoying Behaviours at Work: How to Avoid Them?

So should you hire boomerang employees? Here are the pros and cons to consider, before you make a hiring decision:


Better knowledge about the organisation. Boomerang employee is usually someone who has worked long enough for the company, so they are known with the ins and outs, culture, value system, and ethics of the company. As in comparison to recruiting new hires, who are yet to learn a lot about the organisation and get acquainted with the workplace culture, it is much easier for the boomerang employee to adapt to the existing environment.

Not only can HR leaders save on time and costs incurred during the recruitment and onboarding processes, they do possess fair idea about the character, personality, and work ethics of the former employee.

New commitment and perspective. There could a sensible reason which is strong enough for the former employee to leave the company in the first place, and then decide to come back again in the future. It is important for HR managers to find out the reason, why they come back and use it to assess their commitment.

Undoubtedly, deciding to return to their former employer is not an easy choice, which is why boomerang employees tend to have higher commitment and loyalty as in comparison to when they first worked.

Rehiring boomerang employees is also beneficial to boost morale among young workers. When they return back to the workforce, it will send indirect message to other employees that their current jobs in the company are not as bad as the might always think.


Staff’s resentment. Rehiring boomerang employees could be a potential trigger that causes clash and internal problems among staffers, especially if they quit from the company on an unpleasant note in the past and left some unfinished issues with other employees.

The situation could only get worse, when the boomerang employee comes back, is offered senior position and higher salary over his colleagues. This unhealthy condition at work can prompt jealousy and resentment between co-workers, which is not good for company’s health in the long run.

Past performance. No one wants to rehire someone with poor performance records in the past. Before calling boomerang employee back to the squad, make sure that you have conducted thorough background check about the candidates.

You need to measure whether they could provide significant contribution to the business or are  easily irreplaceable. Make sure to exchange words with their former co-workers and managers to assess if they are still worth the position.

Read also: Recruitment for Start-ups: Dos and Don’ts

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)