What's a Boomerang Employees and Why Should They Be in Your Talent Pool by Julie Rupenski, President & CEO, MedBest

Boomerang Employees, also dubbed the “comeback kids,” leave their current positions and employers only to return at a later date to work for the organization once again. Why should you rehire them? We offer 5 reasons why they should be part of your talent pool.

Who says you can't go home again?  Look at LeBron James who started his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, then took his talents to the Miami Heat and subsequently, returned to the Cavs in 2014 and ultimately, captured their first NBA Championship in 2016.

Consider Steve Jobs who left Apple, the company he co-founded in 1985 only to rejoin them a decade and a half later as their new interim CEO. The rest is history.

What do these prominent figures have in common? Both left for greener pastures but later returned.  In the workplace, that's the definition of a “Boomerang Employee.”  Boomerang Employees, also dubbed the “comeback kids,” leave their current positions and employers only to return at a later date to work for the organization once again.

Why should you rehire a former employee? The main reason is that they represent one of your most promising pools of talent especially in the senior living industry where talent is at a premium and people don't stay as long as they used to.  According to Dr. John Sullivan, professor, author, corporate speaker, adviser and internationally known HR thought-leader, “the median employee tenure is now down to only 4.2 years.”

Dr. Sullivan also states that boomerang employees “result in quality hires because you only target the best performers to return. As former employees, they are known quantities. You know what to expect in terms of their on-the-job performance and cultural fit.”

Other reasons Boomerang Employees are good for business:

  • They'll take your call. It's usually easy to reach out to a former employee and have a conversation about the position available, if it's a good fit, and why they should consider coming back. The conversation can be very candid with all cards on the table.
  • Possible Interim Solution. Depending on their current situation, a former employee could serve as an Interim during your search for a permanent hire.
  • Regrets About LeavingResearchers surveyed workers who have already left their employer and approximately 35% said they wouldn't mind going back to the company if they were offered better pay or a higher position.
  • Bring New Perspectives. Former employees may have gained valuable experience during the time they were gone. They may come back with a new skill set, leadership experience, or even insights into how other senior living organizations handle situations that could benefit your organization.
  • Cost-Effective. It may come down to simple math. According to Glassdoor, the entire hiring process for a Boomerang Employee can be cut up to 50 percent compared to other unknown candidates.

Not reaching out to former employees if you can't fill an open position, could be a huge missed business opportunity. Many of your former employees could be ready to boomerang back into their old role or a take on a new challenge, but you'll never know unless you target some of your recruiting efforts towards them.


Julie Rupenski is the Founder, President & CEO of MedBest, opening the doors in 2001. Since then, Julie has gained national recognition for providing top talent solutions exclusively for the Senior Living Industry. Her specialties include filling C-Suite, Vice President, Regional, and Property level positions.

Julie has an in-depth knowledge of the Senior Living Industry.  She previously worked in operations for both Senior Housing and Senior Living prior to founding MedBest. Today, Julie makes it her personal and professional mission to place qualified people in health care positions where they have the greatest impact.

Julie's industry articles and interviews have been published in Provider MagazineLeadingAge MagazineFlorida Health Care Association Newsletter, PULSEFlorida Assisted Living Association Magazine, ASPIREFlorida Senior Living Association Newsletter, Pennsylvania Health Care Association NewsletterVirginia Assisted Living Newsletter and LeadingAge Florida.

Julie earned her degree in Gerontology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida and continues to cultivate her career through senior living conferences, forums, trade shows, and expos.

Contact Julie Rupenski at / 727-526-1294


MedBest is a national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living Industry established in 2001.  We recruit and acquire exceptional senior care talent, permanent and interim, for all types of Senior Living Organizations and Communities across the US including Assisted LivingContinuing Care Retirement CommunitiesIndependent LivingMemory Care, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.

Connect with MedBest on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @MedBestJobs.


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