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Should HR Managers Rehire Former Employees?

A master’s in human resources can provide the skills to help you make a well-informed decision on a question facing more and more HR departments.

They are called “boomerangs,” people who return to work for a former employer. It’s become a hot topic in human resource circles as the labor market tightens and companies struggle to find highly qualified employees. If you are an HR manager, or want to embark on an HR career, you will likely have to deal with this issue at some point.

HR professionals agree there are pros and cons to rehiring former employees. On the pro side, you will be hiring someone who is familiar with how the business operates and may not require extensive training. That will save the company money and bring added value more quickly. Returning employees may also come back with new skills. In addition, returning workers know the company culture and what is expected of employees. And finally, when an ex-employee returns, they send a message that they have tried something else but were better off where they started. That’s good for the company’s reputation.

Should HR Managers Rehire Former Employees?

On the con side, returning workers may feel entitled to more benefits than when they left. If they left a while ago, they may be unable to adapt to changes in the company. They may be hired simply because they have worked there before; that means a more qualified candidate might be overlooked. And they might hold grudges against colleagues with whom they did not get along during their initial tenure.

A study of more than 1,800 HR professionals, people managers, and employees commissioned by the Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc. and Workplace found that the idea of rehiring workers is gaining traction. The study showed that: 1

  • Nearly half of HR professionals said their companies had prohibited rehiring employees in the past, but 76% said they would consider doing so now. Nearly two-thirds of managers said they would consider rehiring former employees.
  • Only 15% of employees said they had returned to a former employer, but nearly 40% would consider doing so.
  • About 85% of HR professionals said they had received job applications from former employees in the past 5 years; 40% said their companies hired about half of those who reapplied.

If you are entering the human resource field, or looking to advance your career, you are likely to face a wide array of human resource management issues. A master’s in human resource management can help you obtain the strategic, organizational, management, and analytical skills that will enable you to aid companies in meeting their HR goals. One way to earn an advanced HR degree is through an online program such as the one offered by Walden, an accredited university. Walden’s MS in Human Resource Management program aligns with the nine competencies required by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to qualify for professional certification. It is designed to provide you with the tools to create employee recruitment, training, and development initiatives. The program also teaches techniques to improve existing employee compensation and retention efforts.

In short, a master’s in human resource management can prepare you for the challenges of an HR career and help you decide whether to rehire that well-liked manager who left only a few short years ago.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Human Resource Management degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,