Published: Dec. 17, 2019

Employers are increasingly open to hiring former employees, sometimes referred to as boomerang hiring. Employees may leave their organization seeking career growth, career exploration, due to life events, or for a variety of other circumstances. Not all former employees are good candidates to return or will have interest in doing so, yet many may resurface and provide a unique hiring opportunity. In the ongoing challenge to make good, meaningful and successful employment decisions, it is in everyone’s best interest to be aware of boomerang hiring and how to leave the door open to the possibility of a future reunion.  

With the growing awareness and adoption of this practice, here are some of the benefits of returning to a former employer: 

You can do things a little quicker

Due to familiarity on both sides, it is easier to assess and more likely to step into a new position and contribute quickly.  

You know what is needed

Direct knowledge of an employer can create a significant advantage as there is a baseline knowledge of the skills and abilities needed for the job.

You know what you are getting

When leaving an organization, individuals develop new perspectives as they grow in their career and through experiencing different work environments. Having a based understanding of the business and culture of the former organization, new perspectives can be bring about innovation and collaboration in new ways.

You can rethink why you want to stay

Lack of fit with culture or job responsibilities is commonly among the top reasons employees leave their position. Often when considering to return to an employee, individuals realize the culture and/or work is more aligned with their interest than they previously realized.

You experienced leaving 

Employment decisions involve many factors and not all former employment relationships were a good match. Both employees and employers have a direct role in how a departure is handled and whether a future boomerang hire is going to be possible. Departing employees need to be cautious in how they leave, paying attention to leave on good terms by giving proper notice and remaining positive and productive.

Less obvious in the equation is the behavior of the organization when an employee departs. There are a variety of scenarios and protocols in place that dictate organizational behavior when an employee resigns. Regardless of the situation, being mindful of how a departing employee is treated is an important step in setting the stage for a potential future rehire. Awareness of the importance of maintaining positive professional relationships is a skill that everyone would benefit from and is essential to keeping the door open to future opportunities.