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Hiring Ex-employees - Is This a Smart Thing to Do?

Jill Wells

Are you looking for a way to get top-tier talent on your staff? Do you need a fresh perspective on your team to get the creative juices flowing? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about hiring ex-employees.

While most employers perceive this to be a bad idea, it’s quite the opposite! An ex-employee can come in with new skills, more maturity, and a clearer vision of where they want to go in their career.

See below for an in-depth guide on why making a boomerang hire might just be the smartest business decision you make all year.

What is a Boomerang Hire?

Let’s say that you hire two employees with the same experience, skills, and credentials. One leaves your company, then comes back after a few months/years while the other stays with your company the entire time. Which employee is more valuable to your organization?

It’s a trick question, they’re both valuable! The employee that stays the entire time is obviously valuable to you because they allowed you to keep top-tier talent in house.

However, the employee that left your company for a while before returning is just as important to your brand moving forward, if not more so. Imagine if they went to work for your competitor and then came back to work for you. How much could you learn from that process?

This is what’s known as a “boomerang hire”: an employee that leaves your company but comes back to work for it once more. It’s much more common than you’d think!

Your competitors are certainly finding value in boomerang hires. Statistics show that 87 per cent of companies are becoming more open-minded to hiring ex-employees.

We’ve all had those jobs that we left and then wish we could return to that position. Why not take advantage of that, find an ex-employee with more experience now, and then rehire them for a seamless transition.

Why Leaving Can Be a Good Thing

One of the biggest misconceptions in the corporate world is that an employee leaving your company must always have a negative connotation to it. They must not like it here. They think they’re too good for us. They must not be interested in having a career in this industry.

Sometimes employees leave because it’s the best decision for them at that season in life. That doesn’t mean that your company can’t still be a long-term solution down the line.

There are instances in which an employee leaving can be a good thing! We would dare to say that an employee leaving the company could be to your advantage.

The time away from your company could give that worker more opportunities to grow. They might gain some much-needed maturity through the different perspectives that other industries teach them.

That break from your company might also be the realization they need. The time away will help them understand what they really want to do with their careers and the role that your company plays in that.

In other words, it can help them reinvest in your brand. They’ll have a new appreciation for your business operations, leadership, your mission statement, etc.

The Benefits of Hiring Ex-Employees

As Tim Ferris once said, “It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.” Here are some benefits of thinking outside the box and hiring ex-employees.


If you pressed most business owners long enough, they’d say that the biggest disadvantage of hiring a new employee is the training. Getting them up to speed can set back operations quite drastically.

By hiring ex-employees, there will already be a level of familiarity there. Familiarity with your processes, familiarity with your clients, and familiarity with your brand.

As a result, there will be far less training that’s required. Your boomerang hires can hit the ground running and give you an immediate return on your investments.

Fresh Perspective

A fresh perspective yields unlimited possibilities. You’d be surprised what a change of scenery can do for one’s view on their career, position, and life in general.

Leaving your company for a bit may have given your ex-employees a motive for returning. They realized how well they fit into your brand and all the potential your company has to offer.

Not to mention that those employees will have learned a thing or two while they were away. They can bring in a fresh perspective through the thoughts and skills they learned from their other employer(s).

Sharper Skills

If you aren’t improving, you’re regressing. That’s an issue that most employees face when they’ve hit a wall with their employers.

The employee leaving your company temporarily may have given them the boost they needed to improve. They will have learned a few new skills they can bring back to your organization

For example, if you rehire an old Executive Assistant, you might notice that they have better time management skills, communication skills, scheduling skills, office management skills, and more. They can become the assistant you will rely on.

Some employees need to leave for a while to unlock their full potential. That’s what makes boomerang hires such a huge asset.

Hiring Ex-Employees: Take Advantage of a Boomerang Hire for Your Business

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on hiring ex-employees and why it’s such a good idea, be sure to use this information to your advantage.Take the time to read this article for more information on the benefits of having a flexible staffing strategy for your business. To get started, please contact us directly at (03) 8614 7555 and we will be delighted to assist you further.

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