The Pros and Cons of Boomerang Employees

Posted on 8 Jun 2023
The Pros and Cons of Boomerang Employees


  • Employees bring back new perspectives gained from working in different environments.
  • Tendency to possess increased loyalty and are more likely to stay long term.
  • The employer may have less cost associated with a re-hire versus a new starter.
  • A clear sign that an employer doesn’t hold grudges can have a positive impact on employee morale.
  • Potential for boomerang employees to bring new business back with them or encourage former customers to return.


  • Underlying issues may still exist when someone who left under dramatic circumstances.
  • It’s easy to overlook better candidates when a trained ex-employee enquires about returning.
  • Past issues not rectified can show up again resulting in a quick exit for the returning employee.
  • Everyone changes including companies, past employees may not fit with your new company culture or vice versa.

Our advice:

  • Calculate the risks and rewards of hiring a boomerang employee carefully. Past employees can be forgiven for jumping ship, especially considering the financial difficulties experienced by many over the last few years. Those who left for a career progression opportunity that you couldn’t offer them at the time could be good candidates for re-hire. Those that weren’t happy with the company culture when they left – tread carefully, it takes a long time for culture to change and you might find them jumping ship quickly again. 
  • Apply the same hiring process as you would to anyone else, known to you or not.  Involve people in the process who are not known to them if at all possible, ensuring the fairest decision to all is made. 
  • Manage their return carefully with others in mind. For a multitude of reasons. Listen to your existing employees, be transparent with the process, and make sure opportunities are communicated to all. You may not know everything about the re-hire and their relationship with others, so tread carefully. 

In summary

Employers must be discerning when navigating the boomerang market – selecting boomerang employees only when they present the solution to an ongoing skills' shortage, boosting company culture and contributing to the overall mission, vision and values of the company.