Boomerang Recruitment – Why Should You Hire an Ex-Employee


In this article, our Senior HR Consultant, Daniel Williams, discusses boomerang recruitment and how it can benefit your business’ recruitment process.

Due to lockdown layoffs and niche job roles, rehiring an ex-employee could be the answer to your problems, these skill shortages mean that you may have to consider a reemploy over a new hire. If you are struggling to recruit, there is a talent pool of candidates that you may not have discussed; your ex-employees. With the added pressures of COVID and BREXIT, skill shortages and job uncertainty are apparent and hinder you when trying to find the perfect candidate.

What is boomerang recruitment?

Hiring the wrong candidate can be an expensive mistake. Therefore, someone who has already been in the company knows your culture, saving time and money on your onboarding process, as they get to work almost straight away. This is known as boomerang recruitment.

Sometimes, an ex-employee is an ex-employee because they left for a new role – and the grass is not greener on the other side. Businesses lose good employees through this reasoning, but despite the company’s efforts, they try their luck in a new company. However, they decide the new role is not a fit for them and want to come back to their old employer. If they left with no bad blood between you and the employee and yet to have filled their position, this case can be considered. It is important to note that if they are welcomed back, there could be a chance they are looking to jump ship again – is the real reason they are returning because they have no alternative or they really enjoy working for you.

Downsides to boomerang recruitment

Bringing an ex-employee can be a positive move, however, if they left for a negative reason such as dismissal for gross misconduct or did not work their notice etc. you must consider the red flags and be careful to re-recruit them. Some people burn their bridges with a company and it can be more disruptive than helpful if you welcome them back. Companies choose not to reemploy ex-employees, should they have left due to conduct or gross misconduct related issues

On the other hand, when rehiring due to a skill shortage it is okay to do so, many businesses had to make tough decisions and let employees go through redundancies, place them on furlough or parted ways naturally, due to the above. When returning from the new normal, refilling the job roles will be on the top of the to-do list as employees look to return to normal or even expand their workforce, to ride the waves of reverting to ‘normal’. Pursuing those that left for pastures new makes business sense, should it be the right reasons, and is the morally right thing to do.

Boomerang recruitment is sporadic

Overtime, team dynamics do change, old work relationships, alliances and teams may have budged since the leaver was away, especially if there has been a restructure. Do historical problems resurface when a leaver returns? Do returners shake up the new culture built during their departure? These are all questions that should be well thought out, you must not assume everyone will be on board. The employee may slot straight back into the swing of things, but it is crucial to rehire in the correct way or the business and team can suffer in the long run.

If you have any further questions or queries about the content above or would like to request a demo for oneHR, please don’t hesitate to contact the oneHR team today.


Twitter: @oneHR_

Sign up to our newsletter