Should Companies Rehire Boomerang Employees?
Hcareers / FEBRUARY 23 2021

Employees sometimes choose to leave the company or industry to try something new, maybe on a promise of better salaries, work/life balance, more stability, or impressive perks. 

After a few months or years, they may find that they miss working in the hospitality industry and/or your company and reach out for any potential openings. 

Should companies rehire boomerang employees though? 

What is a boomerang employee?

Boomerang employees are employees who decide to take a job elsewhere, for a number of possible professional and personal reasons – or quits work altogether- before choosing to come back to their former company for opportunities. 

The top reasons an employee leaves a company but come back are:

  1. Wanted to further their career, learn a new skill, or receive higher pay 
  2. Try a new industry or company out, or pursue a passion 
  3. Focus on a personal event, like a relocation, childcare, medical emergencies 
  4. Work a seasonal schedule 

With the current state of employment, especially in the hospitality industry, employees could have found companies that promised more working hours, better benefits, a higher salary or more stability to make it past COVID. Maybe that new company couldn’t deliver on those promises, or worse, faced a layoff and the employee is hoping to come back. 

Why should you rehire a boomerang employee?

  • It’s cost-effective – hiring new employees can be very costly for a company when you add up salary, onboarding, and training period as well as recruiting costs. A boomerang employee will likely reach their full productivity potential faster than a new employee who knows nothing about the company. 
  • They’ll fit right in – Since they’ve already worked at your company, they are familiar with the culture and team environment they’re coming back to. You’ll already know how they fit into the organization and how they work with other employees, 
  • They have a new perspective – During their time away, if they learned a new skill, or processes that another company uses for their productivity they will be able to bring that knowledge back into your company and help make suggestions or improvements. 

Why you might avoid boomerang employees

  • Although it’s convenient, they aren’t the best fit – It may seem easier than having to recruit and interview a slew of new candidates, but if they are not the best fit for the job then you won’t be ahead. As a leader, weigh the pros and cons of them coming back and make sure not to settle. 
  • Your company changed drastically while they were gone – If they were gone long enough for there to have been drastic changes to the company culture, hierarchy, or general mission they may take just as long to assimilate as a brand-new candidate and may even struggle more than a new employee by holding onto how the origination was previously. 
  • They left on not great terms – If they left the company on bad terms with another employee, or in an unprofessional way you don’t want to bring them back. 

Bringing a boomerang employee back can be a win-win situation for both the company and the employee. They are able to return to the environment they enjoyed and a company they want to be loyal too and they can bring back new perspectives that will improve the company. It’s also a great sign that an employee wants to come back, it shows you are creating a great work environment.