In the past, once employees left a company, they were gone for good. Now the stigma of rehiring former employees is beginning to fade, and the benefits of the practice are beginning to reveal themselves. A recent survey, released by WorkplaceTrends.com and The Workforce Institute at Kronos, showed that the negative association tied to so-called boomerang employees is beginning to wane. According to the survey, nearly half of responding HR professionals said their organization previously had a policy against rehiring former employees, but 76 percent now say their companies are more accepting of returning workers. There are myriad reasons for the rise of boomerang employees—they reduce training times, cut onboarding costs, and usually will be able to hit the ground running—but one not-so-obvious benefit is that they can actually increase engagement. "When top talent leaves, your other employees get anxious and wonder why, wonder if there are layoffs coming, or if the company's not stable,” says Dave Almeda, chief people officer at Kronos. “But when talent returns, that sends a message that the workplace is a good one."