Rehiring Employees

I was always told that once you leave a company to work for a competitor, you can’t return. Have times changed?

A couple years ago, a friend quit his job to work for the competition. Within a week, he was back at his original job. The first job paid less, but the new company was very disorganized and difficult. I was very surprised the original company took him back. Within a couple of years he left again. So I am left wondering: Is the conventional wisdom wise?

A sales rep I know left his position saying he was frustrated by the infrastructure of his company. He said it took too long to get answers and he felt stonewalled at every turn. He found out the greener grass was an illusion and is currently in negotiations to return to his original company. He is hopeful they will take him back. Should they?

This article from Ball State University talks about why rehiring a former employee for a higher management position may negatively affect the morale of the loyal employees who stuck around. And, it could give them the message that leaving is a good way to get ahead.

On the other hand, the phenomenon of “boomerang” employees is considered “enlightened policy” by Human Resources consultant Joyce Gioia. People who leave get perspective, don’t need job training, and already know the terrain.

Is loyalty truly a thing of the past? Isn’t there an old saying about the “devil you know” being better than one you don’t? Share your experiences.

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