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  • Writer's pictureDealerPILOT HR

Is a Boomerang Employee right for your Dealership?

In a search for talent that involves a tight market, competition and new expectations, the ability to find great talent for your dealership may seem like a daunting task but the answers may be closer than you think. Boomerang Employees- those that have left your dealership and are interested in returning may be a solution that you have previously disregarded.

According to a ZenBusiness study, 76% of employers who rehired an employee were glad they did. Furthermore, 90% of employees would consider returning to a previous employer.

There are a number of advantages to hiring a previous employee.NOT least of which is the time-it takes for them to get up to speed and fully functioning in a role. Former employees already understand your culture, generally know the ropes and in some cases can hit the ground running.

When good employees leave the company on positive terms,wish them well and encouraging other employees to do the same. Then, periodically keep in touch. Sometimes you may even hear relief on the other end of the phone saying it’s not going all that great at the new job. Here is an opportunity to say that you would consider taking them back.

There are some things that you should consider before hiring a Boomerang Employee however, as not all employees are meant to return, even if they want to.

Some things to ask yourself before extending an opportunity:


This is a key question for you both. If they left because they didn't like the culture or your pay structure ( or even possibly you) , then there is a good chance they still won't be happy. If they left because it was the dealership's decision, then you likely won't be any happier on a second go either. However, if they left on a positive note to gain more skills, moved and returned or another reason that means they have an appreciation for the company, then there may be benefits to consider.


Were they respectful? Sad to go and missed or did their co-workers celebrate the departure?Did they seem appreciative of their experience with you or were they dissatisfied with the dealership and anxious to get out the door? Were they belligerent when they left?How did the culture change when they were gone?


If the employee gained additional skills, are those skills going to be used? If not, they may not last long upon return. Were there skills they lacked that have yet to be addressed? Is the new job an advancement from the last time you employed them? If so, have they grown into the role since they were gone, and how will the return impact other staff? Just because you have a vacancy, and may be excited to have them return doesn't make them the right candidate, or put them in the right role at the right time.


Make sure that yours isn't the only opinion you consider. Be sure that your perception of the employee is the same as the people that they will work with, work for, or supervise. When you ask the team, you may discover that the employee was not as well liked as you think and bringing them back will eat at your culture, reduce morale and even cause higher turnover.


Depending on the specific situation, you may have to consider their previous tenure with the Dealership, be in violation if they return as an independent contractor or there may be issues that you won't see on face value. Before returning a previous employee, you may want to consult an expert or your legal counsel.


Weighing the pros and cons of a fresh perspective and brand new employee against a boomerang employee is a good idea every time you consider a re-hire. If you are sure that the re-hire would benefit the dealership, be clear on expectations- even if they are the same as before. Being honest with yourself in decision making ( instead of just being comfortable) by both looking back and looking ahead will help mitigate potential pitfalls.

Remember that it is imperative to have an honest conversation with a potential re-hire before you forge ahead. Many people consider returning to a previous workplace because they can't handle their new role, you need to be direct about where you stand and what you expect before you rekindle the employment relationship.

If you have questions or would like more information on how we can help your dealership, contact us at

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