Do you have a name for people who quit, but then eventually want to come back to, your company? I’ve heard them called “second-timers,” “re-hires,” “re-treads,” and—my personal favorite— “boomerang employees.” Even more important than the moniker you prefer, what is your policy regarding these “comeback kids?” Some companies refuse to rehire, or even talk to, ex-employees. Apparently, they consider the breach of loyalty too grievous to ever move past.

I don’t see it that way at all.

Sure, I may grumble a bit when an employee tells me they are leaving for another job, but I do not discourage anyone who is trying to better themselves.  I realize that as a small company, we cannot always provide opportunities that meet an employee’s personal growth objectives or life goals. So, every now and then, an employee may feel they need to work elsewhere. I get it.

The funny thing is, though, after some time passes, it’s not uncommon for us to see those same people reaching out about a job opening we posted. Their motivations for returning vary, ranging from the job they left for “wasn’t as described” to “the work environment just wasn’t the same.” Maybe the grass isn’t always greener on the other side?

Regardless of why an ex-employee may want to return, we pride ourselves on being welcoming—that’s always been fundamental to SencorpWhite’s company culture. Plus, let’s face it: right now, we are experiencing the tightest job market in my lifetime, and it’s difficult to find people with the skills and experience necessary to succeed in a world-class company. Ex-employees can bridge that gap and often, they can do so in ways that “ordinary” hires simply can’t. That’s because re-hires offer a unique combination of these three key elements:

  • Consistency. Ex-employees know your business just as well as you know them. There is nothing better than hiring a known entity, someone who has already proven themselves to be a good fit.
  • Fresh perspective. Based on their experiences “on the outside,” re-hired employees can bring valuable insights back into your company. After being away, it may be easier for them to recognize where you can improve processes, strategies, etc.
  • Gratitude. One of the most notable characteristics of ex-employees who want to return is exactly that…their want! They undoubtedly appreciate your company more, now that they have tried some place different.

So, the next time you learn there’s an ex-employee who wants to come back to your company, be open to the idea. It’s likely you will reap valuable benefits from hiring a boomerang.