Bloomberg Law for HR Professionals is a complete, one-stop resource, continuously updated, providing HR professionals with fast answers to a wide range of domestic and international human resources...
Sept. 1 — Gone are the days of an employer writing off an employee who decides to leave for a different company; so-called boomerang employees—workers who return to a former employer—are on the rise.
In a survey of more than 1,800 human resources professionals, managers and employees by Kronos and Workplace Trends, 76 percent of respondents said they're more accepting of hiring former employees than they were five years ago. Nearly two-thirds of managers agreed. Employees also reported feeling less anxiety about returning to a company, with 40 percent of those surveyed saying they would consider boomeranging.
Despite changing attitudes, the phenomenon still is relatively uncommon. Only 15 percent of employees surveyed said they had returned to a former employer.
“What we're seeing at the workplace level is a fundamental shift in [the] employee-employer relationship that is at the root of this,” says Dan Schawbel, the founder of Workplace Trends. “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,” he added. “I think that has changed quite a bit, driven by the war for top talent in the marketplace.”
Multiple surveys put retention as the top issue for human resources. Losing employees is expensive, and finding replacements means time and money. Of course, for someone to boomerang back to a company, he or she has to leave, which is exactly what HR departments don't want. But volatility is the reality of today's workforce. Young workers job hop more than older ones, moving an average of every three years.
“The No. 1 benefit that boomerangs have is that they're familiar with the organization's culture, it's easier to integrate them back to the culture,” said David Almeda, the chief people officer at Kronos. It costs less to recruit, hire, and train someone who has already worked in an organization. When such employees come back, they also bring institutional knowledge from competitors. And if that rehire is a high performer, it can boost company morale.
The reasons employees leave and return can vary. A 2013 study of 15,000 employees found that 20 percent who returned to their old jobs had left to take a break, such as to have a baby or to go to graduate school.
Almeda confirmed that he is seeing these “life-situation things” more often in his research on boomerang employees. People will leave to spend time with their families and come back once they feel more settled.
He also has identified two other kinds of returnees—people who left to get more skills and returned at a higher level, and those who had been at a company for a long time and felt an itch to try something else.
A notable group not on that list? People who quit dramatically and then told HR how much they hated their boss. Now that employers are softening their rehiring policies, consider this a friendly reminder that it's never smart to burn a bridge.
To contact the author of this story: Rebecca Greenfield in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Katie Drummond at email@example.com
©2015 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)