Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions
A boomerang employee is a worker who leaves their job at a company (whether for professional or personal reasons) but returns after a time to be rehired by the same employer.
Boomerang employees are rehired workers that once left a company but after a time returned to that same company. This can be short-term, for just a few months, or longer term for several years. In general, boomerang employees originally left their job on good terms with the employer.
Their leaving could be for either professional or personal reasons, and either the employee or the employer may have initially decided to end the employment. Equally, both the employer or the employee may be the first to express interest in rehiring the employee.
There are several reasons why an employee may decide to temporarily leave their position.
The most common reasons are:
Note that in the case of a boomerang employee the employment contract is ended. This makes it different from statutory parental leave or a sabbatical where the employment contract remains in effect for the duration of the time off.
Further note that, although less common, it can happen that the boomerang employee was originally let go by the employer. For example, a company may be forced to let an employee go due to forced downsizing, but decide to rehire the worker as soon as the company’s finances have bounced back.
As soon as the employee decides to return to the company—whether after six months or five years, in the same role or a different one—they become a boomerang employee.
The fact that the employer and employee already know each other may help smoothen and shorten the hiring process. But that’s not the only upside to considering a boomerang employee. And equally, there are also some potential downsides to consider.
So should you consider rehiring an employee?
For a more in-depth look at the pros and cons (and tips on how to adapt your hiring process when rehiring) please have a look at our separate guide: Hiring boomerang employees: The pros and cons.
Simplify your hiring process and workflow
Understand how to create job ads that actually work. Leverage winning strategies to best promote ads. Find the ideal candidate faster.
Already have an account? Sign in
A detailed and well-structured employee offboarding process is an essential process for any business. Find out what it means and what should be included.
Talent acquisition is a long-term recruitment and employee-retention strategy for existing and future team members.
Employee retention as part of human resources policy is an important instrument for the long-term retention of employees in a company.
Easily post your job ads to 10+ job boards
Find your next hire - for free!Get started