When Is the Boomerang Candidate the Best Hire?

Many companies looking to hire have a clear idea of who (or at least what skills and attributes) they want to fill a position. As you consider what type of person would be best for an open job at your business, you may find your mind wandering repeatedly to a person who used to work for you.

If you find yourself thinking a former employee would be a perfect fit for an open position, re-hiring that person may just make sense. However, bringing back a so-called boomerang candidate who had already left your work environment can raise some unique challenges.

When (and How) to Hire the Boomerang Candidate

Re-hiring a former employee can give you the chance to bring someone back to your business who is already familiar with what you do, and who already understands the corporate culture. That will decrease the amount of onboarding you need to do, which decreases the amount of resources spent on acclimating a new employee to your culture and policies.

However, you need to be cautious in trying to reconnect with past workers and you must make sure you’re not acting on nostalgia alone. The old employee should be the best person for the job before you bring them on again.

There are also some other things to think about as well, such as:

How can you reach out to past employees?

The Internet has made it easier than ever to reach out to past workers. You may have an online alumni network or there may be a group of current and former co-workers who are connected on a social network. You can connect on LinkedIn, talk via message on a social networking site, or simply give the former worker a call. Staying in touch with a great employee who left for another opportunity makes that transition back much easier. You’ve been networking the whole time and when it’s time to make a move, it won’t be an awkward first communication.

When is the right time to bring back a past worker?

If a past worker didn’t leave under negative circumstances and has the right skills to perform in a new position, hiring the former employee just makes sense. The onboarding process will be much simpler and more straightforward, and Inc. indicates a company could save around $15,000 to $20,000 per re-hire. As a manager, you also have to think about how it will be seen by your current employees and the team.

How do you lay the groundwork during an original departure?

If your company is losing an employee and you think you may want that person back at some point, you must be cautious with the employee’s departure process. Treat the employee fairly at all times, and encourage the employee to discuss why they are leaving the company so you will  know what issues, if any, would need to be overcome to bring the employee back on board. If they leave under poor circumstances, remember that and make note of it in your files. Time can heal all wounds and make us forget about past differences, so a written account will help.

Rehiring former workers is efficient and cost effective, but it may not be the right answer under all circumstances. You need to make informed choices on how best to fill your staffing needs.

Technology Partners can help find any employee or candidate you need for IT jobs in St. Louis. Our information technology staffing firm can assist you in finding the best candidates to fill any open job. Give us a call at 877-636-1331 or contact us online to learn more.


We can help you gain the flexibility you desire in your career. See our current opportunities.

Featured Posts

Something Extra Podcast

Recent Posts

Search by Category