Rehiring a boomerang employee

Boomerang -The pros and cons of rehiring former employees.

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During the pandemic there was an increase in personal reflections which had a great impact on many people’s careers. Employees started to change their direction which was inspired by stay-at-home orders and less time travelling to the workplace. Many employees decided that they wanted to work for different companies, some wanting to try new sectors and a large number deciding to set up their own businesses.

*Nearly 80 businesses were created in the UK every hour within the first six months of 2021. Analysis of Companies House data reveals that more than 340,500 businesses were registered in the UK between January and June 2021, an increase of 32% from 2019. Over one third of new companies were registered in London, followed by the South East (37,573) and North West (33,640).

However, it seems that many people are now considering going back to the companies they moved away from. Anthony Klotz, the business psychologist who coined the ‘Great Resignation, says the next dominant hiring trend is hiring “boomerang employees.”

With many companies struggling to fill openings with qualified candidates, many are now bringing back past employees known as boomerang employees.

Boomerang employee rehire rates vary by company, but it’s not uncommon for workers to re-join a previous employer. Some employers have strict policies for rehires, while others have no problem accepting returning employees.

Hiring a past employee can be mutually beneficial. Employees are already familiar with their business’s culture and processes and will need less training and on-boarding to get them up to speed.

Pros and cons of hiring a boomerang employee

Returning employees can be a valuable asset for your company, but they can also create drama or tension in the workplace.

You should only consider bringing back employees who left the company on good terms. If you’re considering rehiring a former employee, make sure you have a thorough understanding of why you want to bring them back. Look back at the exit interview and refresh your memory as to why they left.


  • They know the company culture.
  • You know the quality of their work.
  • They’ve gained new experiences since they left your organisation. 
  • They can return with very new ideas.
  • If they joined a competitor, they may return with useful information.
  • Your current employees may gain confidence in your organisation as an employer when they see people voluntarily return. This can help you retain current staff.
  • Reduced training expenses.
  • You will save on recruiting costs


  • They could expect that everything has stayed the same since they left and therefore resist any new changes.
  • How will you handle issues like vacation and any other policy or practice based on years of service? Do you credit them for their previous experience with your organisation?
  • You could have an inaccurate memory of their performance. There may have been a good reason why they chose to resign.
  • Current employees may resent a former colleague being re-hired for a job they think they could do.
  • Workplace drama due to an employee who left because of certain problems with other people.
  • Flight risk due to returning employees who may leave quickly if issues from the past aren’t corrected
  • Changed personality – a boomerang employee may have new personality traits or expectations that make it hard to connect with your culture.

Many organisations keep in touch with great past employees who have left. They send out emails with new exciting news and promotions which allows the former employees to stay connected. Organisations also send out job offers to former employees that match their skillset.

Should you rehire former employees? That answer is going to depend on a lot of factors. If you decide it’s worth the risk, having the right strategy in place can make all the difference.

If you would like more information in helping you make the right decision, please call Tick HR Solutions.


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