30 November 2023

Boomerang Employees: Should You Return to Your Old Job?

Authored by Thammaiah BN, Managing Director & Country Head, PERSOLKELLY India.

Boomerang employees’ is a phrase that refers to people who leave a company but later return to work there again. This trend has become more popular recently, primarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused numerous changes in the workforce.

Previous data reveals almost 20% of workers who resigned from their jobs during the pandemic have now re-joined their former employers This is a big opportunity for companies as a significant number of them want to rehire their old employees and are still connected with their ex-employees who had left on good terms. However, this phenomenon could pose a challenge for companies aiming to retain their recently hired staff. These recent hires might want to leave and go back to their old jobs, making it tough for employers to keep their skilled workers.

We have recently conducted a poll on LinkedIn to further explore the motivating factors behind most employers’ decisions in rehiring a boomerang employee.

The chart below represents the results:


Should You Become One? – The Pros and Cons

The Harvard Business Review found that a notable 28% of ‘new hires’ were actually people who had left their jobs at the same company in the last three years.

This number raises the question of whether employees should consider becoming one of them. Let’s explore the pros and cons of being a boomerang employee.

The Pros

Immediate Skill Application

Going back to a previous company means that you have the important company knowledge and skill set that can be used right away. This can be beneficial for both you and the employer, as there is no need for an extensive training period that is usually conducted during the onboarding process. Leveraging your acquired knowledge of the company’s systems and processes can greatly cut down costs and time for the organisation.

Efficient Adaptation

As you come back to a company as a returning employee, the process of fitting in and adapting is easier following your previous experience with the company. This will not only speed up the process but also motivate you to channel enhanced output and efficiency without needing excessive training. Additionally, your acknowledgement of the company’s environment and cultural gratitude helps keep things steady and strengthen the values everyone shares. As a result, the team works better together – leading to overall success for the company.

Strong Professional Network

Rejoining your former employer provides you with the unique opportunity to tap into the network of professional connections you have already established during your previous tenure. This network can prove to be valuable in various aspects of your career.

Career Growth Opportunities

When you return to a former employer, it gives you a strong chance to move up in your career – especially if the company values your skills and what you have done before. Even more so when you have a growing understanding of the related industry and insights into the competitors from your prior engagements. They might be able to see your potential and give you more important roles or interesting projects that can be a good fit for you.

Reduced Job Search Uncertainty

During times of economic uncertainty and strong job market competition, going back to a previous employer can provide a comforting sense of stability and security. This becomes even more relevant during the great resignation trend, where many people are leaving their jobs. Returning to a workplace you already know well, with its dynamics and culture, can reduce the stress of changing careers.

The Cons

Stagnation and Growth Limitation

While rejoining a previous job can bring immediate benefits like familiarity and comfort, it may also pose the risk of stagnation if the company lacks clear pathways for vertical or horizontal advancement. Without new challenges and opportunities, you might find your career growth limited – potentially hindering your professional development and long-term aspirations.

Residual Issues

Returning to a former employer could mean facing the same problems that made you leave previously. If the company has not fixed issues like management, workplace culture, or other problems, you might feel unhappy again. This can affect how satisfied and engaged you are with your work.

Perception by Peers

When you come back, your coworkers might think you are not very committed or ambitious – as they might believe you did not have better choices somewhere else. This idea could change how you get along with your colleagues, work together as a team and even stop you from getting leadership roles or additional tasks.

Negotiation Power

When rejoining your former employer, you might face challenges in negotiating your terms of employment – including compensation and benefits. The company may assume that your eagerness to return will lead you to accept less competitive offers, potentially putting you at a disadvantage in salary discussions and negotiations.

Adjustment Challenges

Despite your previous experience with the company, returning after a period of absence can still present adjustment challenges. The workplace might have undergone changes, such as new team members, updated policies, or shifts in the company’s structure. Integrating seamlessly back into the work environment may require flexibility and open-mindedness to navigate these changes successfully.

Ultimately, deciding to go back to a previous job depends on your personal situation, what you want for your career and the details of the company’s offer. Considering the pros and cons can help you decide if returning to your old workplace matches your future career goals.

What You Should or Shouldn’t Do as a Boomerang Employee

If you find yourself considering the prospect of becoming a boomerang employee and returning to your former employer, it’s essential to approach this opportunity with a thoughtful and strategic mindset. Reconnect with your former colleagues and bosses, and use these connections for collaboration and support. Make sure to be open to changes and show enthusiasm for returning. Share your outside experiences for fresh ideas and always aim for career growth by expressing your ambition to advance within the company.

Don’t dwell on past issues; focus on making a positive impact in your current role. Adapt well to new team dynamics and follow updated company policies. Expand your network by connecting with new employees to promote a sense of belonging and create growth opportunities. Following these guidelines will help you make the most of your boomerang experience and achieve your career goals in your former organisation.


Boomerang employees are on the rise, showing a big change in the professional world. Although being a boomerang employee can offer unique benefits: 

  • It is also crucial to weigh the potential drawbacks before making a decision. As you contemplate going back or trying something new, think about your goals and the company’s situation.
  • Be open to changes and growth to ensure a fulfilling career journey. Remember, your choice should match your goals and help you improve at work.

Is being a boomerang employee in your future? Are you still uncertain about your next step? Head over to our career page for a fresh and new opportunity with PERSOLKELLY.