Top Pros and Cons of Rehiring

Deciding to rehire a former employee is a big consideration for any business, and it’s important to carefully weigh up the potential pros and cons. If you are in a hiring manager role, then you may come across the chance to rehire an ex-employee. To help evaluate this decision and increase your chances of success, it is important to grasp both the benefits and potential pitfalls that can arise from welcoming back former colleagues.

In this blog post, we will look at both sides of the equation – from improved workplace morale to potential legal risks – to help you make the best choice possible when deciding whether or not to welcome back a former team member.

When to rehire former employees

If your company is expanding or the demand for your service is high, hiring managers may want to consider rehiring a former employee. Rehiring employees who left your company on good terms can be a beneficial and easy business decision. Former employees may also reach out to you to ask for employment opportunities. Even if you don’t have any opportunities for them immediately, it can be helpful to maintain an open connection should a role become available.

Benefits of rehiring former employees

Before you make your decision to rehire a former employee, it can be helpful to consider the benefits of this choice. Here are some pros to consider:


Rehiring former employees can be beneficial to the organization because they are already familiar with the company, its mission, and values, and understand how things work in your business. This can lead to a smoother onboarding process for new hires as well as less training time.

Less training

Rehiring former employees often require less training. As former employees already know your company culture, policies, procedures, and processes, they can become productive more quickly than new hires. Training former employees can also be a more efficient use of time as they need to learn fewer processes and procedures.

Employee morale

Rehiring former employees can positively impact employee morale. Current employees may look upon rehired former workers favorably, feeling that their own jobs are secure and permanent. This is especially true when the former employee is left in good standing and may have been greatly missed by their former colleagues.

More commitment

Former employees who request to return will often come back with more enthusiasm and dedication than ever before. This is because they’ll be able to see the value of your company in a way that they didn’t experience or notice during their previous tenure.

Additionally, having explored other possibilities makes them likely to view the role at your business from a fresh perspective and underappreciated advantages that you can offer as an employer.

Save on recruit costs

Rehiring a former employee can be an easy and inexpensive solution when filling an open position. With their contact information already on hand, you won’t have to invest in advertising the job or waste time conducting interviews. On top of that, if they have reached out to you regarding the vacancy then rehiring them could potentially save even more time!

Possible drawbacks

While hr professionals can bring potential benefits to the company, there are also some potential drawbacks you should consider before making your decision. Here are some cons of rehiring former employees:

1. Poor performance

One of the primary cons of rehiring is that the employee may have left the company for a reason – poor performance. If an employee was not performing up to par the first time around, there’s no guarantee that they will perform any better the second time around. There’s a good chance that their performance will be just as poor as it was before, which can end up costing the company time and money.

2. Burned bridges

If former employees left the organisation on bad terms, it could cause tension among other employees and could create issues with morale. You should also consider the possibility that former employees may have moved on for a better opportunity and why they left in the first place.

3. Bad reputation

Another potential downside of rehiring is that it can give the company a bad reputation. If word gets out that the company is willing to give employees who have left for poor performance a second chance, it could discourage other potential employees from applying to work for the company. Additionally, it could also give current employees the impression that they can get away with poor performance without consequences.

4. High turnover rate

Another potential con of rehiring is that it can contribute to a high turnover rate. If employees see that the company is willing to rehire those who have left, they may be more likely to leave themselves, knowing that they can always come back if they don’t like their new job. This can lead to a vicious cycle of high turnover, which can be costly and disruptive for the company.

5. Missed opportunity to hire a new employee

Finally, another potential downside of rehiring is that it can miss out on the opportunity to hire new employees. When an employee leaves the company, it provides an opportunity to bring in a new hire with fresh ideas and perspectives. However, if the company chooses to return employees instead, they miss out on this opportunity for growth and change.

6. Old Baggage

Lastly, former employees may bring old baggage with them back to the organisation. Returning employees can include prior unresolved issues with former colleagues or managers, which could affect current relationships in the workplace. It is important to consider this before rehiring a former employee and ensure that any potential issues are addressed and resolved before their return.

7. Not like the good old days

If your potential rehire has been gone for more than a few months, there may also be changes to the company that they are not aware of. This could include new HR policies, changes in management, and other developments within the organisation. It is important to ensure that former employees are up to date with these changes so that they can hit the ground running when they return.

Tips for rehiring former employees

Taking a chance on an old employee can seem like a definite no, but with more professionals frequently hopping between jobs than ever before, why not give them another opportunity? If you decide to rehire former employees, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Conduct an exit interview

If a former employee left the company on good terms, it can be beneficial to conduct an exit interview. This will provide you with valuable insight into why they left and the potential issues they had while working at the company. It also gives former employees the chance to express their feelings and feedback which can be reassuring when considering them for rehire.

2. Consult current and former employees

In addition to the former employee, consult with other current and former employees who have worked with or are familiar with the former employee. This will provide you with a more comprehensive perspective of their work ethic, attitude, and general behavior within the company. It can also help you decide if rehiring the former employee is in the best interest of your organisation.

3. Hire on merit

When rehiring former employees, be sure to select them based on their qualifications and experience rather than prior loyalty or familiarity with the company. This will help ensure that you are hiring the best candidate for the job and help maintain fairness when it comes to hiring decisions.

4. Bring former employees up to speed

If former employees have been gone for more than a few months, it is important to bring them up to speed with any changes that may have taken place since their departure. This will help ensure that former employees are familiar with the company’s current practices and procedures so that they can hit the ground running upon their return.

5. Be mindful of former roles and relationships

Finally, it is important to be mindful of former roles and relationships when rehiring former employees. By consulting with former colleagues and assessing any potential issues that may have arisen between them, you can help ensure a smooth transition back into the company.

6. Create policies for rehiring

Most organizations incorporate guidelines and policies regarding rehiring former employees. This can help to hire managers to make wise decisions by providing them with examples to weigh on. Generally, these regulations only permit supervisors to bring back those who left in good standing.

7. Review former employee’s skills

Before rehiring former employees, you should always review their former job and past performance. By doing this, you can determine if they have gained any new skills or knowledge since their last employment which may make them more qualified for the position they are seeking to fill.

8. Keep a talent pool

It’s important to keep a talent pool of former employees who left on good terms. You never know when a former employee may be needed so it is wise to stay in contact with them. This will allow you to reach out and offer them the position if your current needs require it.


Weighing the pros and cons of rehiring boomerang employees should be done on a case-by-case basis. In some situations, it can make a lot of sense to reach out to former employees and offer them their old job back. Other times, it’s best to keep looking for top talent. By taking the time to consider all the factors involved, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your business. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to decide whether or not to rehire someone? What factors did you take into consideration?