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Should I Rehire a Past Employee? Let’s Weigh the Pros and Cons

An employee quits to take a better position. A few months down the road, you receive an email from the employee wanting to come back. What do you do? Should you rehire so-called “boomerang” employees? Or is hiring a past employee all over again not worth it? 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on the employee, the job, your organization, and other factors. Like most things, there are pros and cons to rehiring past employees. Let’s examine some of the advantages and disadvantages so that you can make the smartest decision for your business.  

Pro: They already know what they’re doing. 

It probably wasn’t that long ago that the ex-employee worked at your company. That means they have a good understanding of the ins and outs of your processes and internal structure. They’re also familiar with the company culture. That’s a good thing in terms of easing the employee back onto your roster. Plus, they may have gained valuable skills or insights in their time away, which they’ll now bring to the table for your company.  

Con: They may hold grudges or be entitled. 

Did the past employee not get along with a particular manager or coworker? Those old grudges may still be in place, which can make the return difficult. It’s also possible that a boomerang employee feels entitled to certain compensation or perks, even though they’re technically a new hire. This can create friction among the team and between management and the employee themselves.   

Pro: It saves you money.  

When you hire a past employee, especially if it’s within a short time of their original departure, you’ll be able to save quite a bit of time, money, and effort hiring and training the individual. Some estimates say that companies can cut costs by 50 percent per hire by bringing on a past employee rather than a new applicant.  

Con: They may not be the best candidate out there. 

Consider this: even though a past employee may be a viable candidate, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best candidate. It’s up to you to weigh the risks and benefits. The ex-employee might be cheaper and easier to hire back, but are they really the best person for the job? Sometimes, you’re better served spending the extra time and money to find someone who is better qualified. 

The question of whether to rehire a past employee is a tricky one. At the end of the day, it depends on the situation at hand. Consider the pros and cons of each option to decide what’s right for your team and company, and reach out to Axiom Staffing Group when you need help with hiring.