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Terms and Definitions

What is a boomerang employee?

Updated: May 22, 2024

Boomerang employee definition and meaning

A boomerang employee is any individual who leaves a company and later returns. Also known as “boomerangs,” these workers typically return with a higher level of expertise, new ideas, and tactics that can be put to use right away.


More about boomerang employees

Employers are motivated to reconnect with these types of job seekers to fill open positions for a variety of reasons. First and foremost is that, in addition to the hard skills they’ve learned, the boomerang employee will return with a fresh perspective that can lead to innovations that improve processes. There’s a benefit to the company culture, too, as human resources teams often bring “boomerang employees” back into the fold because they’re already familiar with the individual’s background and work ethic, as well as any accomplishments from the employee’s previous stint with the company.


By rehiring a boomerang employee, businesses typically see big savings in cost – and time – that would otherwise be spent on onboarding and training because they’re likely to be already familiar with an organization’s policies and procedures, as well as the company’s mission and values, so it’s generally less of an investment to get boomerangs up to speed.


Additional benefits of boomerang employees

Possibly the most significant benefit of bringing a boomerang employee back, which often goes unnoticed, is that boomerang employees often return with a renewed sense of commitment and loyalty for the company taking them back, providing an added boost to the projects they take on. Additionally, this can have a ripple effect throughout an organization: As current employees meet (and work with) someone who’s returning to their roots, they may think twice before seeing if the grass is greener elsewhere.

Using boomerang employee in a sentence

“My newest coworker, Kevin, is actually a boomerang employee, so it’s been fascinating to hear the insights he’s brought back to our operations team.”

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