Reasons to Consider ‘Boomerang’ Employees

Boomerang employee being welcomed back into the insurance office

Many employers may be having a difficult time finding talent right now. Talent pools that have proven successful for years have suddenly diminished, forcing workplaces to get creative. One recent approach has been to re-recruit ‘boomerang’ employees, which are workers who were previously employed by an organisation, left voluntarily and now wish to return.

Boomerang employees might not immediately seem like viable candidates; after all, they’ve left their positions before. In some cases, an employee may have left an organisation voluntarily due to incompatibility, and bringing this employee back may not be the best course of action.

However, some employees leave due to exigent circumstances, not incompatibility. For instance, employees may exit their roles to care for ill family members, seek higher wages or try growing their careers in different industries. In other words, an employee may voluntarily leave without harbouring dissatisfaction with an organisation.

With that in mind, boomerang workers can generally offer a number of benefits that make them worth considering, including those listed below.

Easier Vetting

One of the biggest challenges of recruiting is getting all the important details about a candidate—such as their work ethic, past performance, temperament, soft skills and various other factors. Essentially, employers only have the candidate’s resume and interview to help obtain this information. With boomerang employees, it’s very likely some of their colleagues are still present. Or, at the very least, their past performance reviews should still be on file. If an employer routinely conducts exit interviews, these files may even be readily accessible.

Verifying that a boomerang employee was a top performer when they were first employed by an organisation is a key indicator of future success. If an employee wasn’t a great performer when they were initially employed, it’s unlikely they will have grown into a better performer in the present day.

Faster Onboarding

Since a boomerang employee has worked with their past employer before, they are likely already familiar with the organisation’s culture. And, if they’re reapplying to the same position they held previously, training will take much less time than with a brand-new employee. Having this familiarity means a boomerang employee already has a significant advantage during onboarding and can begin making meaningful contributions sooner.

Greater Skill Sets

Boomerang employees will have different reasons for previously leaving their positions. Some may have left in search of greater compensation; others may have quit to try and grow their careers. In any case, these workers are returning with the skills they learned from other employers. Now, these boomerang employees have additional experiences and expertise on top of the skills they demonstrated when they were initially employed.

In other words, boomerang employees are basically guaranteed to have the skills needed for a given position (if it’s one they’ve held before), in addition to everything else they learned while working elsewhere.


Ultimately, there are several reasons why a boomerang employee may have left an organisation. Yet, by reapplying to their former organisation, they’re saying, ‘I’ve tried other workplaces, and I didn’t realise how good I had it here’. Employers would be wise to consider these candidates, especially as brand-new employees have become more difficult to recruit.

Above all, boomerang employees can help add quality talent to a workforce. Employers should keep these valuable candidates in mind when assessing their recruiting strategies.