Published On: February 19th, 2024|By |1.9 min read|

A funny thing is happening with many employees who left their jobs during the pandemic: They’re coming back. When handled well, these so-called boomerang employees can be a boon for short-staffed organizations.

The boomerang phenomenon

There have always been employees who return to an organization after leaving, but the number of boomerang employees has grown significantly in recent years. An international survey found that nearly one in five people who quit their jobs during the pandemic have already boomeranged back to their old jobs—and of those who haven’t returned, 41% would consider going back if it were an option.

When the job leavers were asked what they missed most about their former job, their top five answers were their co-workers, familiarity, and comfort in the role, the customers they served, their compensation, and their work-life balance.

Why hire boomerang employees?

Bringing back former employees with a solid track record is often a smart business decision, for several reasons. First, boomerang employees are coming back for a reason—they’re motivated. They also know your organization and their role well, so you won’t have to spend as much time and resources on training them. 

Re-hiring trusted employees also demonstrates loyalty that other employees may appreciate, and it shows them that they may not find greener pastures elsewhere.

How to take advantage of the boomerang trend

If you think boomerang employees could benefit your business, you’ll want to create a process that welcomes and encourages them. Start with your exit process, where you can stress to departing employees that they are welcome to return. Leaving on good terms is always a good idea, and even more so when you recognize that they might want to come back. 

Another way to prepare is to set up a program that encourages and rewards employee referrals since it is likely that boomerang employees will remain connected to their former co-workers. It is also a good idea to establish a policy for returning employees regarding issues such as whether they should go through a waiting period before receiving benefits, whether their PTO should be reset, and how their pay should be calculated.

Get the support you need

Insero Talent Services can help you navigate the boomerang trend while also providing a great candidate experience that improves employee retention.


About the Author: Benjamin Vassallo

Ben is a senior consultant for Insero Talent Solutions, recruiting for direct hire positions including banking, sales, business development, accounting, and more. > Meet Ben


Join our mailing list for insights and tools to help you achieve your goals delivered right to your inbox.