HR more open to bringing back former employees

HR more open to bringing back former employees

Almost 80% of HR executives are more open to rehiring former employees, according to a new survey.

The report, which interviewed over 1,800 HR professionals, managers and employees in America, found that 76% are increasingly accepting of so-called “boomerang” workers - those who return to former companies after having sought employment elsewhere.

The research, conducted by Kronos and Workplace Trends, also found that employee are less anxious about returning to a former employer, with 40% of those asked saying they would definitely consider boomeranging. However, despite the growing acceptance, the trend is still something of an oddity, with just 15% of employees claiming to have returned to their former workplace.

Dan Schawbel, Founder of Workplace Trends, puts the boomerang tendency down to a healthy workplace environment. He said: “What we’re seeing at the workplace level is a fundamental shift in [the] employee-employer relationship that is at the root of this. It used to be that the control was with the employer. You got to work here, it was coveted. You were lucky to have a job. I think that has changed quite a bit, driven by the war for top talent in the marketplace."

With retention being cited as one of the top issues facing HR departments at the moment, boomeranging can be seen as a cheaper, albeit long winded, solution.

David Almeda, Chief People Officer at Kronos, explains why onboarding is easier through this new method, saying: "The number one benefit that boomerangs have is that they’re familiar with the organisation’s culture, it’s easier to integrate them back to the culture."

A study in 2013 of 15,000 employees found that 20% of workers had their old jobs had left to take a break, such as to have a baby or to go into further education. Almeda confirms that this trend is till inherent in the current findings, explaining that “life situations” are often the cause of employees boomeranging. The majority of these workers either leave and return with more qualifications, or they have been at the company for a long time and feel like trying a new career path. 

The new report also serves as a reminder that when you leave your current employment not to do so with bad feeling. 

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