Dear HR Manager from Whiplash

Dear HR Manager from Whiplash

Dear HR Manager,

I am having a difficult time making a hiring decision. One of the top applicants is a “boomerang” candidate who left our company six months ago. They are a strong candidate, know the team, and have the requisite skills for the job. But part of me wonders if they will stay. How do I make this decision?

– Whiplash

Dear Whiplash,

There are pros and cons to rehiring a boomerang candidate. From day one, they understand the culture and company, can be onboarded quickly, and have an internal network. They have felt the grass on the other side and are choosing to return. A boomerang candidate can make a great hire.

On the other hand, I understand this feels like a high-risk hire. They left before (and may decide to leave again). Additionally, the factors that led to their departure may come to the surface, and no one wants to hire an employee who may be unhappy.

The question to focus on is, who has the best experience for the role today? Evaluate the candidate based on their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Take time to reflect on your team and the potential gaps you need to fill. If the boomerang candidate turns out to be your top choice and you still have questions, set up a time to speak with them directly to further understand why it makes sense for them to return. What did they learn that has shaped their interest in returning?

– HR Manager

Originally featured in UBA’s December 2022 HR Elements Newsletter.


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