J. Kent's Blog - Articles for Employers and Job Seekers

Should You (or Shouldn’t You) Rehire Former Employees?

Posted by: Karen Booher on June 14th, 2021

I laughed when I read a recent article in Glassdoor for Employers that compared rehiring former employees (“boomerang employees”) to ordering the same thing every time at your favorite restaurant. Why do you do it? In a nutshell – you know what you’re getting, and you know it’s (they’re) good.

Especially in tight candidate markets as we are currently experiencing, many employers have changed their attitude a bit and loosened previous policies about not rehiring employees who have previously quit.

At J. Kent Staffing, I can remember rehiring 3 employees for our internal team. Overall, they were good decisions and they all made good contributions the second time around. But, on the flip side, I don’t believe any of them stayed for much more than a year on their second round with us.

But, like that dish at your favorite restaurant, there is a lot to be said for a sure thing, especially with the many question marks surrounding unknown applicants.

The Pros:

What happens when you rehire that same employee who quit before, who just ends up quitting again later. As the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”. Like taking back a former girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse… is it really any different the second time around?

The Cons:

Every employee’s personal circumstances and career journey are different. There’s just no right or wrong answer as to whether it’s smart or not to rehire someone from the past. When you get that call or email from a past employee asking for their job back, the most important thing to do is take the time to objectively re-interview them without rushing and making a hasty decision.


  1. The Pros & Cons of Rehiring Former Employees”, By Glassdoor Team, May 19, 2021.

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