boomerang
n. An employee who quits to take another job and later returns to the company; an employee who is laid off and then rehired as a consultant or contract worker.

Example Citations:
They’re boomerangs, employees who quit and then come back. And in an age of job hopping and tight labor markets, employers who once shied away from such hires now are aggressively recruiting former workers back.
—Stephanie Armour, “Companies recruiting former employees Loyalty takes second place to experience,” USA Today, February 2, 2000

One interesting phenomenon of workers in the last two categories is the boomerang-style contract worker. Many organizations are hiring the very highly skilled people they just downsized out of a job. These people then come back on a much more tenuous basis as contract workers in their areas of expertise.
—Donna G. Albrecht, “Reaching new heights,” Workforce, April 1, 1998

Earliest Citation:
Gensler‘s motivation and retention efforts have yielded impressive results... [I]ts 12 percent “boomerang” rate—the percentage of employees who return to Gensler after leaving voluntarily—is one of the highest in the industry.
—“1997 awards for best business practices,” The Business Journal, January 5, 1998

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