Is Rehiring a Former Employee a Good Idea? They’re familiar with organizational operations, company culture and need less training to get up to speed, but only half of employees would consider returning to a former employer.

Most senior managers are open to rehiring boomerang employees—staff members who previously left the company on good terms, according to recent research from Accountemps.

“Companies need to leave no stone unturned in their search for talent,” said Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountempts. “Boomerang employees are an attractive option because the firm is already familiar with how they’ll perform and fit in with the organizational culture. Returning workers also require less training to get up to speed and may have acquired valuable new skills while they were gone.”

Former employees, however, were not quite as eager for a reunion—just over half of them are likely to apply for a position at a previous company.

More than 20 percent of employees would not return to a former employer because of dissatisfaction with management. Issues with management arise when there is frequent miscommunication, limited flexibility with scheduling, or when workloads are unbalanced. Dissatisfaction with management lessens job satisfaction and can lead to employee burnout.   

A poor fit with the organizational culture was the reason over 15 percent of employees would not apply for a position at a previous company. Most employees agree that company culture is important. If companies can get employees invested in the work environment and company mission they’ll be more likely to return or recommend quality candidates.

Nearly 15 percent of employees wouldn’t return to a prior employer because of unfulfilling job duties. It’s impossible to make every position feel interesting and important, but if employers can connect the work to the larger company mission, provide great benefits and maintain a positive company culture, unfulfilling work is less likely to affect job satisfaction.

Just over 10 percent of employees refuse to return to a former employer because of bridges burned by the company. There’s no way to unburn a bridge, but employers can expect that management treat everyone with respect, even when an employee has made the decision to part ways.

“Rehiring a former staff member may seem like a simple process, but it’s essential to understand why the person originally left and whether the issue has been resolved,” advised Steinitz. “The employee will not stay long if past problems keep resurfacing.”

More than 60 percent of HR professionals called the sourcing of talent “very or extremely challenging” in a recent XpertHR survey. Rehiring former employees doesn’t exactly widen the candidate pool, but it does add in a few individuals who have already demonstrated their value. It might be worthwhile to start leaving the door open when talented, reliable employees move on.