You can probably have your old job back, 94% of managers say

But, only 52% of workers were likely to apply for a position at a previous company.

When companies search for new hires, they can often find no better candidates than former employees.

A new Accountemps survey found that 94% of senior managers would consider re-hiring a former employee.

“In this market, where it’s so hard to find talent, if you’re a hiring manager and you’ve got a person who left in good standing that’s familiar with your culture, familiar with the processes of the organization, and they did a good job for you – hiring managers tend to be pretty enthused about bringing back a person like that,” Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps, told Ladders.

That’s what’s makes a former employee so attractive. “They know the ins and outs, they’re essentially trained, and you know what you’re getting,” Steinitz said. Ideally, a boomerang employee – somebody who has left a company and then come back – is someone “you didn’t want to leave the first time.”

Expect to go through the same formal interview process that everyone else goes through, not to get in the back door.

“One of the bigger differences, when you’re re-hiring someone, is that you’ve really got to dive into why the person left the first time,” said Steinitz. Potential boomerang employees should be as honest as possible here, so that past problems don’t become future ones.

However, according to the survey, only 52% of workers were likely to apply for a position at a previous company, citing reasons like unhappiness with management (22%), a bad culture fit (17%), and unfulfilling job duties (13%).

“There are a myriad of reasons why [former] employees left the first time and why they wouldn’t be interested in going back… Some people don’t want to go back to something they already know – they’d rather keep moving forward.”

If you’ve been offered a position at an old job or are thinking of going back, think hard as to the reasons you left in the first place. If the reason you left could be changed – like replacing a bad manager with a new one – consider going back. But if the conditions around your departure are still the same, tread carefully.

“You just have to be very honest with yourself to make sure you’re not putting yourself in the same position,” Steinitz said.

Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.