Three people in businesswear sit around a table. The two people on the side of the table facing the viewer are a man in glasses and a blazer and a woman wearing a black-and-white striped shirt. The woman holds a piece of paper and shakes hands with a second man sitting on the other side of the table.
Before considering rehiring a former employee, try to find out why they left the company in the first place. If they left on bad terms, it may be unwise to bring them back. — Getty Images/fizkes

Boomerang employees leave a company only to return at a later date, and they accounted for 4.5% of new hires in 2021. But is it a good idea to rehire former employees? Maybe — here are seven things to consider first.

[Read more: What to Do When an Employee Leaves]

You know what you’re getting into

One of the challenges of hiring a new employee is that you never know exactly what you’ll get. No matter how extensive your interview process is, you never know how well that individual will fit with the organization until you hire them.

But when you rehire a former employee, you already know this person and what kind of worker they are. They’re already familiar with your company culture and may know some of your other employees.

This familiarity reduces the likelihood of a bad cultural fit. Plus, they’ll bring new perspectives and skills they learned at their other job.

It’ll cost less to retrain them

Onboarding a new employee is expensive — SHRM estimates the average cost is nearly $4,700 per employee. But rehiring a former employee will save you money since they’re already familiar with the position and the job duties.

They already know the ins and outs of your products and services and will reach optimal performance much sooner than a new hire. Plus, you don’t have to spend time and money recruiting them.

[Read more: How to Create Loyal Employees (and Why It Matters)]

It could improve company morale

Rehiring former employees could help improve company morale by showing current employees that your company is a great place to work. If it wasn’t, why would former employees want to come back?

Plus, employees make friends with their coworkers, so rehiring someone who is well-liked could improve the mood at the office. And rehiring an employee who quit shows your current employees that you value them.

Before rehiring an employee who quit, think about what they bring to the table the second time around.

There could be a better fit for the job

Before rehiring an employee who quit, you need to think about whether they are truly the best fit for the position. If you already know and like this person, it can be tempting to hire them as quickly as possible, but try to stay neutral.

Check your talent pipeline to see if any other candidates are better suited for the role you’re trying to fill. If you do decide to go with your former employee, meet with them to discuss your expectations for the position.

Former employees could hold a grudge

Before rehiring a former employee, consider why they quit in the first place. Did they leave on good terms? If they left because of a disagreement with another employee, they might still hold grudges against the company.

Whether or not you rehire a former employee depends on their attitudes and motivations. It may be a good fit if they have a positive attitude and are excited to come back. But you may want to look for another candidate if they’re only applying because they don’t have any better employment options.

[Read more: What to Do When a Competitor Is Poaching Employees]

There may be an adjustment period

Even though they worked for you before, rehires still may go through an initial adjustment period. Things have likely changed at the company since they left, which may be confusing to the employee.

They may leave again for a better opportunity

This individual already left your company once, so there’s a good chance they’ll do it again. And they may feel even more comfortable leaving the second time since they know you’ll rehire them if things don’t work out.

Before rehiring an employee who quit, think about what they bring to the table the second time around. If they were well-liked, left on good terms, and are a good fit for the current role, it may be worth rehiring them.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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