Boomerang is the new buzzword in corporate recruitment. A boomerang employee is a former employee who has returned to their previous place of employment. According to a 2022 UKG survey, nearly 20% of employees who resigned during the COVID-19 pandemic boomeranged back to their previous roles. But it involves more than just rehiring a former employee.

So, what exactly is a boomerang employee? How does hiring one impact your company? You’ll discover the answers in the guide below.

In this article, we examine what boomerang employees are and the reasons why they leave. We also take a look at the pros and cons of rehiring boomerang employees and the best ways to entice them back to your organization. You’ll also discover why an alumni enterprise network like Aluminate makes rehiring boomerangs easy.

What is a boomerang employee?

As mentioned above, a boomerang employee is someone who worked for your organization in the past, and returns to your employ. Like a boomerang tool, they return from whence they came.

However, this concept does not include everyone who once worked for your company.

Boomerang employees are those members of your corporate alumni who displayed exceptional skills and were a tremendous asset to the company. Boomerang employees do not include all staff, but rather the top-tier employees and executives.

Because of the value they added to your organization, you may be interested in luring them back. This can offer you many benefits, but before we address those, we must cover the reasons these employees left.

Why do boomerang employees leave in the first place?

Now that you’re clear about what boomerang employees are, let’s determine the main reasons they leave.

Career growth opportunities

Boomerang employees often leave to pursue career growth opportunities elsewhere. This is not because they’re not happy with your company, but rather because they did not see opportunities for advancement or promotion.

Better compensation and benefits

Many boomerang employees leave seeking higher pay and better benefits. The reality is that, regardless of how happy they have been at your company, the remuneration, and benefits such as health insurance coverage and PTO, may not have met their expectations.

boomerang employee definition

Company culture fit

It is no secret that people have different personalities and interpersonal skills. For some, adapting to the existing company culture is easy and enjoyable. For others, this might not be the case. And it is the latter group who are most likely to leave.

Personal development

Personal development could be another reason why your boomerang hires initially left. Employees may seek opportunities that align more with their personal growth and career goals. They may be looking for diverse work experiences, learning opportunities, or more mentorship and guidance.

Life circumstances

Life circumstances can play their part too. Personal reasons like family emergencies, expanding their household, or moving to a new area may cause them to leave your organization. This is often one of the easiest reasons to get around. Once their home life settles down to a routine again, they are likely to want to return.

Changes in the job market

It is no secret that younger generations tend to leave their jobs more often than older ones. While joining a company and staying for your whole career was an accepted path in the past, today’s workers tend to stay at their job 2.8 years on average. But, as much as they’re more inclined to leave, they also come back. 10% of large financial institutions’ employee base is often made of boomerang employees. In the past, returning to work for the same company carried a certain stigma. But times have changed, and today, boomerang employees are cherished and celebrated.

What makes them come back?

Just as there are several potential reasons why a boomerang employee left, there are a few reasons why they may want to return to their former employer.

Here are the three top reasons why your former employees might boomerang.

Improved company conditions

The positive past experiences your former employees had during their time at your company may be enough to make them want to return. However, it’s far more likely they’ll return if HR has made significant changes and working conditions have improved in their absence.

This could include the offering of flexible work arrangements, a revamped company culture, or enhanced benefits.

Staying in touch with your former employees via an alumni network is the ideal way to keep them updated about these changes. When your potential boomerang employees are regularly updated about new developments at their former company, it stays top of their minds and may persuade them to return.

boomerang employee definition

Networks and relationships

Relationships forged through years of working together are a large reason why corporate employees boomerang. The relationships enjoyed at their previous employer may prove to be the deciding factor in their return.

An alumni network is the perfect way to keep your alumni and current employees in touch with one another. The Groups module on Aluminate for Enterprise allows you to create dedicated spaces for your subcommunities of alumni and employees. This allows them to connect based on commonalities such as geography, work-related topics, or shared interests and hobbies.

The collaboration, mentorship, and friendship that enterprise networks like the Aluminati platform offer are difficult to replace.

New career opportunities

Perhaps your company was still at the fledgling stage when they left, but has now become a success, offering room for growth and expansion.

Sharing new job openings and career opportunities on your alumni network is the perfect way to attract boomerang employees.

Pros and cons of boomerang employees

You will enjoy many benefits when rehiring boomerang employees. However, there are also some potential drawbacks for your company. As you will see, the pros outweigh the cons.


  • Familiarity with company culture
  • Knowledge of internal processes
  • Existing relationships and networks with current employees
  • Reduced recruitment costs
  • Reduced training costs
  • Boomerang employees will return with new skills and knowledge
  • Hiring a boomerang employee will boost employee morale


  • Risk of recurring resignations
  • Resistance to new changes
  • Existing employees’ resentment

Tips for attracting and hiring boomerang employees

Here are our top tips for attracting boomerang employees to your organization.

Conduct exit interviews and surveys when employees leave

Use the opportunity to ask them why exactly they are leaving and what your company and HR professionals can improve on. Get as much information as possible about their reasons for leaving and their plans for the future. This criteria will determine whether it is worth rehiring them at a later stage.

boomerang employee definition

You could also send out surveys to your resigning employees and alumni. Aluminate for Enterprise makes this easy by offering a digital library to share resources with your entire alumni network.

These interviews and surveys will give you valuable insights into your alumni’s career expectations and lay the foundation for possible rehiring in the future. It will also help you gain feedback on what your company can improve on to keep your employees satisfied.

Maintain good relationships with your corporate alumni

Track down your previous employees through social platforms like LinkedIn, and stay in touch through your corporate alumni network. They will be more likely to return based on positive relationships with the company.

HR professionals can use the Aluminati platform to keep alumni informed about changes at the company that address their unique reasons for leaving.

Stay connected via corporate social networks

Stay connected with your corporate alumni via corporate social networks on platforms like the Aluminati network. Share regular updates related to your company, for example:

  • Your organization’s/alumni’s achievements and awards
  • New career development opportunities and job openings

You don’t necessarily have to limit these interactions to work-related topics but always try to foster a strong sense of community.

Aluminati’s dashboard is the ideal way to share updates and invitations with alumni. Fully customizable, it lets you share content that matches each alumni’s interests and journey. This will skyrocket your alumni engagement.

Offer competitive benefits to bring them back

If your employees are leaving in search of better benefits packages, offer competitive benefits to bring them back. Examples include a pay raise, a more flexible work environment, alumni reunions, and more corporate networking events.

boomerang employee definition

Aluminati’s Network makes hiring boomerang employees easy 

In the realm of corporate recruitment, the boomerang employee trend has taken center stage. Companies will enjoy many benefits when rehiring boomerangs, including reduced recruitment costs, a smooth onboarding process, and a boost in employee morale.

Staying in touch with your corporate alumni is crucial if you want to attract boomerangs. This is where Aluminati shines.

Our alumni management platform, Aluminate for Enterprise, makes rehiring boomerangs a breeze. Take the leap and start building a strong corporate alumni network that will attract your top boomerang hires. Request a demo today!