Financial advisors don’t frequently go job hunting at firms they’ve departed, but when they do there are a number of things their former colleagues should consider.

“The most important factor is their value system, and whether it lines up with ours,” says Jimmy Lee, founder and CEO of the Wealth Consulting Group, a wealth planning firm headquartered in Las Vegas. “Absolutely I’d hire them back,” he says, if they fit into the firm’s culture.

He’s currently trying to do that with a big team of advisors that were once part of the Wealth Consulting Group. The advisors left the firm under the influence of the team’s leader back then, he says. But the individuals who want to return share the firm’s values, which include, he says, “putting the client first, integrity, undeniably solid ethics, accountability, competitiveness, and simply being nice.”

If an individual left on bad terms and wants to return -- a situation Lee hasn’t experienced -- the issues pertaining to the departure would have to be considered, he says.

Vanessa Oligino director of practice management at TD Ameritrade Institutional, which works with more than 5,000 RIA firms, hasn’t come across the issue of advisors seeking to return but she poses a couple of hypothetical scenarios.

For example, a woman may wish to return to a firm after leaving to raise a family, she says. However, she’d be more skeptical of advisors who left the firm to work for the competition, she says, because they often seek to take their best clients with them. “In these cases, the departing advisor likely burned the bridge with the old firm,” she says. “Why would an employer trust that advisor a second time around?”

Cheryl Hyatt, a partner in executive search firm Hyatt-Fennell, headquartered in Pittsburgh, says one of the biggest advantages of working with a former employee is that he or she is “a known commodity.” The employer knows the candidate’s personality, work ethic and skills, she says, and the candidate knows the employer’s procedures, cultures and goals. It can also be significantly less costly to retrain a qualified former employee instead of training someone new, she says.

Hyatt mainly recruits C-suite employees for nonprofits, mostly in higher education. This includes university presidents, CFOs, chief information officers and technology directors. But good rehiring strategies are universal, she says, and the following questions should be raised when people seek to return to any workplace:

• What was their past performance? “Did they bump along the bottom or continually exceed expectations?” she asks. “Did their coworkers enjoy working with them or did they sow workplace strife and frustration?”

• Why did they leave? It’s a poor choice to rehire someone who quit because they were frustrated with the company, she says. But if a person left because of a family situation, such as caring for an aging parent, bringing them back can foster their long-term loyalty, she says. It can also lift the moral of other staff, she says, because they’ll see the company values its employees.

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