The pros outweigh the cons. When considering hiring former employees, here are a few things to consider. All said - go for it if they have the right skill set to move the company forward in a positive direction! Pros of hiring former employees (from a business perspective): > "Business" Knowledge: They know the company. How it is structured. How to get things done within and outside of the four walls. They know the culture, people, policies and politics. > Network: They have a network that extends outside of the company and from my experience, has only expanded through work at other firms, with new customers, clients and delivering new capabilities. This can be an asset to the business as the company looks to start growing again, expanding services, moving into different markets. > Why Not?: If the former employee left to pursue a new opportunity, to start a new business, to expand his / her skill set or was simply let go due to right-sizing, there really is no negative from a business perspective to bringing the individual back to the company. The business obviously saw value in the person as they were hired into the company in the past. With the ups and downs in the business marketplace, very few candidates will have resumes that do not show experience at multiple companies, in multiple roles, etc.
Cons of hiring former employees: > Loyalty Issues: Boomerang employees may feel like they have been 'let go' once, and wonder if/when/how it will happen again. There tends to be a feeling of cautiousness that returns which also manifests itself in being more open to explore new opportunities that perhaps wouldn't have been considered in the past. You run the risk of losing loyalty with boomerang employees. > "Settling" - Hiring boomerang employees is often the easier (cheaper, faster) route than going out and finding new talent and taking the time to bring them up to speed. This is often very appealing for employers (who wouldn't want to hit the ground running with a fast re-ramp?). This becomes a problem when the boomerang employee, while a 'good' fit, isn't the absolute 'best' fit for the role. It's often too easy to settle and take the easy road. Hiring managers need to make sure they are exhausting their resources to find the best talent, and not simply taking the easy road.