Rehiring Former Employees: Advantages and Disadvantages

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko:

It’s undoubtedly happened to you at least once in your life. There are times when brilliant employees leave your company for other opportunities, only to later come back to you and demand their previous position back.

Until recently, the majority of human resources professionals would have said no. How could you have faith that this individual wouldn’t abandon you for the next great opportunity?

Attitudes are shifting now that retaining and recruiting new employees is more challenging than ever. One study found that 76% of HR professionals are more willing to rehire former workers, a practice known as “boomerang hiring.”

The actual issue is: should you recruit older personnel now that so many businesses are contemplating it?

It’s not an easy question to answer. The only way to know for sure is to look at each boomerang employee individually.

According to Glassdoor’s recruiting experts, these are some advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind.

The advantages

Rehiring an ex-employee gives you a feeling of security since you know what to anticipate from them. A new employee may be better, but why risk it?

Other advantages of bringing back a boomerang employee include the following:

They have a good understanding of how the firm works. As a member of the team, this person is well-versed in the company’s culture and its systems and procedures. In this case, you wouldn’t have to spend any time training someone who has never worked for your company before.

They’ve become better at what they do. When this individual was out of the workplace, they most likely earned experience at a new firm. They may have picked up a new talent or developed a fresh viewpoint that you may use to your advantage.

They’re sending a message to the rest of your staff. When a former employee returns, it sends a message to the rest of the workforce that things are not always better elsewhere. Workers will be encouraged to remain in their current positions if they observe that a coworker left because she was dissatisfied and ended up back here.

It will save you both time and money. In this case, there will be no need for further training or time spent on the job. They can get right to work, which is impossible with a new hire.

The disadvantages

There are, however, several reasons why hiring a boomerang employee may not be the best strategy. The greatest danger is that they’ll walk away from the project again! Having an employee quit twice might be embarrassing, and you’ll have spent time searching for a new employee instead.

Take a look at some additional drawbacks of rehiring a boomerang employee:

They may have a negative reputation because of their past. Is this person’s relationship with a boss or coworker strained? Returning employees may encounter the same problems with the same individuals, which might hurt morale and productivity.

It’s possible that they feel entitled to something. Even though these individuals previously worked for you, they are now considered “new” employees again. This might be a problem if the employee expects to continue with their seniority benefits, earned vacation time, and after they leave.

They may be resistant to change. Has anything changed in how you do things since this individual worked with you? Because of this, they may have a hard time adapting to the company’s new operating style.

Perhaps they’re not the ideal match for the position. A fresh applicant could be a better match for the position if their previous performance was mediocre. If you just rehire the former employee, you risk passing up on other qualified candidates.

Recruiting boomerang employees

Regardless of whether or not you want to rehire former workers, establishing the framework is a good idea. An 80 percent drop-off in communication with former employers is a squandered opportunity, according to a recent poll.

Making contact with former coworkers may make returning to the workplace much smoother.

What’s the most efficient approach to do this? Here are a few suggestions:

  • The departure interview is a great opportunity for an employee to tell you if any issues should be addressed before leaving the company.
  • It’s important to tell them that if they ever decide to return, you’d be happy about it.
  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • Get the word out about your firm by posting updates on social media.
  • Contact them once or twice a year to check how things are progressing.