An HR Glossary for HR Terms

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

Boomerang Employee

A boomerang employee is an employee who leaves a company they work for, but then later returns to work for the company once again.

While this boomerang employee definition gives you a quick answer, there are many pros and cons of boomerang employees to discuss. To better understand who they are and if it’s a good idea to rehire them, here’s a closer look at boomerang employees.

What Is a Boomerang Employee?

Whether it’s for personal reasons or professional reasons, a boomerang employee chooses to take a job elsewhere (or quits work altogether) for a time before choosing to come back to their former company as a rehired employee.

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

  1. To further their career, learn new skills, or receive a higher pay when another opportunity presented itself.
  2. To try something different, explore other industries, or pursue a passion.
  3. To focus on a major life event, such as a spouse’s relocation, caring for a child, or nursing their own medical condition.
  4. To work seasonally. For example, snowbirds or retirees planning to return again next year.

The Corporate Culture and Boomerang Employee Study by Workplace Trends gives the following boomerang employee statistics:

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Interview Questions for Boomerang Employees

A boomerang employee interview is a little different than a new-hire interview and requires an adjusted set of interview questions. Here are four helpful interview questions specifically geared toward boomerang employees:

When it’s time to make your final decision, it can be helpful to have a list of pros and cons of boomerang employees.

Pros and Cons of Boomerang Employees

The pros of rehiring a boomerang employee are plentiful. They include:

The cons to consider in rehiring a boomerang employee are:

These days, HR professionals and managers are realizing that loyalty doesn’t necessarily end when employees move on to other opportunities or areas of focus. There are many working years in a lifetime and people desire the flexibility to pursue other options without burning their past employment bridges. Plus, with the benefits that boomerang employees can bring your business, it can become a win-win situation for everyone.


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