The rise of the boomerang employee

Going back to a company you previously left goes against conventional HR wisdom, but more and more people are doing it

Employees in a revolving door

Back for more… (Klaus Vedfelt/Getty)

There’s a new type of candidate circling the hiring pool: the boomerang employee.

An American study by Kronos and shows a changing mindset about hiring boomerang employees—someone who left an organization, for whatever reason, and then rejoined that same organization at a later date.

Read: Small businesses have difficulty finding high-quality employees

Nearly half of HR professionals claim their organization previously had a policy against rehiring former employees—even if the employee left in good standing—yet 76% are more accepting of hiring boomerang employees today than in the past. Managers agree, as nearly two-thirds say they are now more accepting of boomerangs.

While only 15% of employees have boomeranged back to a former employer, nearly 40% say they would consider going back to a company where they once worked.

In the past five years, 85% of HR professionals have received job applications from former employees, and 40% say their organization hired about half of those former employees who applied.

HR professionals (33%) and managers (38%) agree that familiarity with the organization’s culture is the biggest benefit to hiring back former employees, while nearly one-third appreciate that boomerangs do not require as much training as a brand new employee.

Read: Companies unprepared if star employees leave

But while the overall acceptance of boomerang employees has changed direction, HR professionals and managers still have concerns. Nearly one-third of HR professionals and managers claim boomerang employees have a stigma hanging over their heads that they might leave again, and more than one-quarter say these employees may have the same baggage they originally left with.

More than 1,800 human resources (HR) professionals, people managers, and employees took part in the study.

This article originally appeared at Benefits Canada.