Key Benefits of Rehiring and How to Conduct the Interview 

Key Benefits of Rehiring and How to Conduct the Interview 

When looking to hire new recruits, it’s beneficial for companies to consider past employees. These workers, known as Boomerang Employees, offer a unique opportunity to hire someone who already understands the company from the inside out. 

HR professionals should consider the many benefits of rehiring former employees as they are a growing source of potential candidates. According to Workplace Trends’ The Corporate Culture and Boomerang Employee Study, 40% of HR professionals say their organization hired about half of their former employees who re-applied.

Understanding the benefits and challenges of rehiring as well as how to interview a rehire is essential knowledge for companies looking to tap into a pool of overlooked candidates and learn the best rehiring practices. 

Confident businessman offering a handshake across the desk during an interview.

What is a Boomerang Employee?

A Boomerang Employee is a person who chooses to return to their former place of employment after time away. After resigning from their position, they later “boomerang” back to the company at a later time, having gained new professional experiences. 

In the past, companies wouldn’t consider rehiring an employee who left, as they were seen as disloyal. This isn’t the case anymore. Former employees are great candidates for rehire, especially when they’ve remained on good terms. Former employees may still have an abundance of loyalty for their previous companies.  

It’s important for HR professionals to understand that Boomerang Employees leave their former positions for a multitude of reasons. They may want to diversify their skills, gain knowledge of other industries and positions, or follow an unrealized passion. All of these motivations add to the benefits of rehiring a former employee, as they bring new perspectives to the company and create a more well-rounded worker. 

Benefits of Rehiring

Rehires reduce the amount of training needed and its costs. Since Boomerang employees are already familiar with the job, they make great re-additions to your team. Since they understand the company’s structure and know what to expect, rehires are able to start sooner and acclimate easier, unlike new employees who are completely unfamiliar with the company’s structure and culture. 

Their transition back into the workplace will be much smoother. Since rehires are acquainted with the company’s processes and systems, they’ll be better able to adjust to the company’s office environment and maintain positive relations with the colleagues they’ve worked alongside before. This raises morale and creates healthy conditions within the workplace. 

The new hire will optimize productivity. Their knowledge of the company and their respective position leads them to reach company goals and deadlines sooner. Their increased confidence in their already-familiar environment will also aid in boosting efficiency.  

Rehires add new perspectives and skills to the job. Their time away will have forced them to gain new experiences that they will be able to implement in their work. Their different methods of approaching and solving problems will lead to fresh ideas and innovation within the company. 

Challenges of Rehiring

While there are many pros to rehiring a former employee, that doesn’t mean there aren’t cons to doing so as well. Some of the challenges of rehiring include:

The rehire may leave again. Since a Boomerang Employee has left the company before, they set the precedent to leave again. It’s also likely that their reasons for leaving the first time will also be their reasons for potentially leaving once more. 

For example, a former employee who left for “better opportunities” may resign for a second time for the same reason. It’s important to facilitate open and honest communication regarding their initial exit so that their path forward isn’t clouded by the same issues. 

There may be lingering conflicts. Employees who didn’t initially leave on the best terms may carry resentment for the company’s structure and their coworkers. Their previous pain points may once again come to the surface. 

On the other hand, old coworkers may feel indignation for rehires. It’s essential to consider how Boomerang Employees will fit into the current work environment in order to facilitate a healthy and positive workplace for all employees. 

The rehire may not be the best candidate. Because rehires have an existing relationship to the company and their former coworkers, they may seem like a “perfect” candidate. Hiring managers can become blinded to the fact that they may not be the right applicant for the position because of their familiar relationship. 

Just because they were once up to par with the company’s demands and values, doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be again. It’s necessary for HR professionals to evaluate rehires the same way they would any new hire. 

They may exhibit poor performance. Candidates who were problematic in the past aren’t ideal rehires. They may want a second chance at the company and may not require extensive training, but HR professionals should be wary of any rehire candidate who exhibited poor performance in the past. 

Ultimately, the pros and cons of rehiring will need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. HR professionals should contemplate all aspects when considering rehiring a past employee. When the dialogue between hiring managers and potential candidates is transparent, the benefits of rehiring outweigh its challenges. 

The Rehiring Process

The rehiring process doesn’t vastly differ from the normal hiring process. Even though the potential candidate has worked for the company before, the hiring manager should still review their application as if they were a completely new hire, interview them with an adjusted set of questions, and ultimately choose the best possible candidate. 

The key element of the rehiring process is the interview. This conversation should facilitate honest communication and understanding between the rehire and the HR professional to make sure the applicant will be able to complete their assigned tasks and fit into the company’s fold once again. 

After conducting the interview, multiple forms are still needed to complete the rehiring process, such as: 

  • The formal offer letter
  • Form I-9
  • Form W-4
  • Onboarding documents (i.e., health insurance and retirement benefits)

Just because a rehire has worked at the company before, many standard forms and policies still need to be completed and reintroduced. It’s imperative to not overlook the rehiring best practices.  

Rehire Interview Sample Questions

Interviewing a rehire is an essential part in making sure these candidates still fit the company’s values. A rehire interview isn’t drastically different from that of a new hire, but the questions should be adjusted to reflect and understand the employee’s time away from the company. Questions to consider when conducting a rehire interview include: 

Why do you want to come back to work for this company? This basic question should be standard in any rehire interview. Learning why the candidate wants to work for the company once again is important not only in understanding the rehire’s reasons for coming back, but whether or not they’ll make a good re-addition to the team. 

Why did you originally leave the company? Being informed of why the employee left the first time is essential in creating an honest dialogue between the rehire and HR. Addressing any issues that may still linger helps rehires have a smoother transition back into the company’s ranks.  

What have you done since leaving the company? Discovering what the rehire has been up to during their time away is crucial so that the hiring manager knows what new expertise will be brought to the position.

What specific skills and experiences have you gained in your time away? It’s important to understand what new skills a Boomerang Employee has developed while working for other businesses so they can bring innovative viewpoints and solutions to the company. 


Rehiring Boomerang Employees can be a great resource for diversifying and expanding your recruitment pool. The many benefits of rehiring cannot be overstated with these workers already having familiarity with the company and their respective responsibilities, which ultimately cuts costs and boosts productivity. 

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