Think Hiring a Former Employee Is a Bad Idea?

Passion May 1, 2018

Think Hiring a Former Employee Is a Bad Idea?

Jason Richmond
Jason is passionate about helping large companies embrace outstanding culture. He engages with clients by sharing his passion for learning and instilling a sense of leadership and confidence with everyone.

For some, the thought of leaving a company to possibly return someday is unthinkable. Their intentions are clear and their decisions have been made: the grass is clearly greener on the other side.

However, with the flood of Millennial employees into the workforce, there’s no denying that a “boomerang trend” has indeed developed over the last 5-10 years—and frankly, it’s not as bad as it may seem.

The Basics: What Is a Boomerang?

Exactly as it sounds, a “boomerang” is an employee that once left the company—almost without exception on good terms—only to be rehired from that same company down the road.

Why It’s Happening More Frequently

There’s a common stereotype about Millennials regarding their ability to easily jump from company to company without a care in the world—and to older generations this is seen as disloyal and unprofessional.

There’s another side to it however—one that Shaun Rudy, SVP at large advertising agency, knows quite well. “There are many reasons for employees to change directions throughout their careers. You don’t know if the grass is greener on the other side—and sometimes, it’s worth seeking out. Other times, it has to do with your personal situation. A previous position I held had me traveling often throughout the year, but now with but now with family obligations that doesn’t appeal to me—or fit with my lifestyle—as much as it previously did.”

Rudy’s experiences are not unique. Roughly 40% of the workforce has said that they would be willing to return to a previous company now that the timing or situation is right.

While there are a number of reasons to make returning to a company appealing, Rudy states that the change in culture had everything to do with his decision. “My tasks are pretty similar to the ones I had at my last company, but there is a stark difference in the culture. Ultimately, I wanted to be around a team of leaders that I felt held the same values that I do.”

What Made the Difference?


“Working for a company that understands the value of kindness and flexibility was a big deal for me. With a kid, things aren’t always set in stone or there are events to attend, and the agency is the type of company that understands that.


Over the course of 15+ years, Rudy has seen nothing but a “constant state of evolution” from the company—and that excites him. “From the very beginning, the agency dedicated to progressing, and despite any future risks of automation or recession, I feel confident that it will withstand.”

The People

Finally, it was the people that made coming back to the company a no-brainer. “I’m proud of the fact that we hire a very diverse group of people from all walks of life—and many without a background in advertising. It helps us to stand apart from other companies—and I think that’s important.”

Benefits of Rehiring a Boomerang

While many companies previously held policies that prohibited the rehire of former employees—even those that left on great terms—many HR departments are now seeing the benefits of reconsidering:

  • New policies or rules aside, Boomerangs are familiar with the company operations, goals and standards making the onboarding process easier and more cost efficient.
  • They typically return with more training, including perspectives that can benefit the company.
  • Their return is indicative of a healthy culture that they are eager to add to.
  • During their time away from the company, it’s likely that their contact list has also grown—something that can help the company for future business and connections.