An HR Glossary for HR Terms

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

Boomerang Employees

What Is a Boomerang Employee?

A boomerang employee is an employee who leaves a company for personal or professional reasons, then later returns to work for the company as a rehired employee.

The average employee tenure with a company has remained unchanged over the last 40 years, at approximately five years. With around 40 working years in a person’s life, that opens the door to working for a company, leaving for another job or experience, and still having plenty of time to return and work there again.

Today’s employees desire the flexibility to pursue other options without burning their past employment bridges. A 2022 survey by UKG found that 62% of people who left jobs during the pandemic, or more than 15 million people, say the job they quit was better than their current job. Hiring boomerang employees can be a win-win for companies and employees by bringing in experienced talent and an established relationship.

Why Do Former Employees Return?

Here are four common explanations for why an employee temporarily leaves work:

What Are the Pros and Cons of Boomerang Employees?

Pros of Boomerang Employees

Cons of Boomerang Employees

4 Essential Interview Questions for Boomerang Employees

A boomerang employee interview differs slightly from a new-hire interview and requires an adjusted set of interview questions. Managers need to be careful to avoid unconscious bias and hire a boomerang employee as the “easy” option and, instead, consider how the situation and employee have changed from their original employment and what they bring to the table now.

Here are four helpful interview questions specifically geared toward boomerang employees:

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