Rehiring a former employee colleague can seem like a bit of a strange notion straight off the bat. However, boomerang hires are a huge part of running a successful (and profitable!) business these days. It all comes down to making a hire for cultural fit and reducing the time new team members take to become happily productive.

Kate Reilly published a very informative article on boomerang hires on the LinkedIn Talent blog recently. Here are several talking points from her piece.

Three Ways To Make Rehiring A Former Colleague Less Awkward In Future

Prepping for a boomerang hire is something every business needs to be ready for in 2021 and beyond. It all starts the moment a current employee decides to move on. Here are three things you should be doing, according to Kate:

1. Make The Most Of The Exit Interview

When it comes to the employee life cycle within any given company, the odds are that onboarding gets a lot more attention than offboarding. After all, you need to ensure that employees are equipped to fit in well and do their job to their best ability. However, when it comes to future-proof hiring practices, the same could be said for offboarding. You want departing employees to feel supported.

Naturally, a lot will depend on whether the split is amicable. In most cases, it should be – unless an employee is being asked to leave for some reason. However, when they choose to move on of their own accord, lay the groundwork for connection beyond their employment at your firm. Find out why they are leaving – this data is invaluable – and invite them to become a part of your alumni community.

2. Keep Departing Employees In The Loop

This takes us to the next notable point – namely, establishing a corporate alumni platform and community. Many of the most successful companies of our time – think Citi, Coca-Cola – have thriving alumni communities. This is because they understand the value of having a ready pipeline of boomerang talent, talent referrals, future consultants, industry champions, and more.

3. Keep Your Hiring Objectives Front & Centre

There are benefits and disadvantages to hiring boomerangs, which Kate discusses in more depth in her LinkedIn article. Every hiring choice should be made with overall company objectives in mind. This way, the potential success of rehiring a former colleague can be considered carefully for each given position. It may not be the best choice one hundred percent of the time, but there are many benefits to enjoy in most cases.


Rehiring employees to be part of your team can be tricky, but it does not need to be. Businesses can lay the groundwork for smoother boomerang hires by making the most of every exit interview. Kate also recommends keeping former employees in the loop through a corporate alumni community. Plus, be sure to keep your company’s hiring objectives front and center at all times.

To get early access to The Alumni Advantage, sign up to the mailing list. Authored by James Sinclair, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni, the book provides an end-to-end understanding of how organizations are recognizing and leveraging their former employees.