Boomerang employees: many of them are open to returning to previous employers.
A significant majority of professionals (79%) express openness to rejoining their former employers before the Covid era, with half confessing that their original reasons for departure no longer hold true in the current market scenario.
Based on a recent survey by recruitment firm Robert Walters involving more than 3,000 Canadian professionals, 44% of employees who quit post-lockdown cited better compensation as the primary reason, with an additional 34% seeking a more appealing workplace culture and company values.
However, fast forward to today, and 48% of these professionals admit that their present employer falls short of meeting their needs. A third pointed out that the escalating cost of living and fatigue from hybrid work (24%) have altered their perceptions about their latest job.
Martin Fox, Managing Director of Robert Walters Canada, remarks, “Post-pandemic, we witnessed a surge in employee turnover, termed ‘The Great Resignation.’ However, our study now shows early signs of ‘The Great Regret,’ with 79% of professionals indicating a willingness to return to their pre-Covid employer a mere 18 months after their departure.
“Throughout 2021, professionals were lured with record salary hikes and flexible, hybrid work culture. Yet, in 2023, these salary increases seem insignificant against the backdrop of rising living costs and inflation. Employees who were enticed with inflated pay packages are less likely to have received a salary hike this year, leading them to reconsider their choices.”
Potential Boomerang Employees Maintain Connections
A considerable 75% of participants confessed to maintaining some form of communication with a previous manager, primarily to keep the door open for potential job opportunities (20%).
In fact, almost a quarter of professionals (23%) confessed to approaching a former employer in the past year regarding job prospects, with an additional 13% expressing their intent to do so within this year.
Positive Sentiment Among Managers This sentiment is reciprocated by managers, with 95% open to rehiring a previous employee for a vacant role. However, 6% would do so cautiously.
Fox further states, “As the Canadian market continues to struggle with talent scarcity, ‘boomerang employees’ could be a potential solution for numerous companies.
“This talent pool can ‘hit the ground running.’ They are already familiar with your business, its processes, and have an established affinity for the brand — attributes that usually take years to instill in a new hire.
“Given this data, companies looking to recruit should contemplate reconnecting with their alumni and ensure managers are trained to manage a positive exit process, keeping the boomerang employee phenomenon in mind.
“It’s crucial for employers to handle the reintegration of returning employees, especially if they rejoin at a higher position. A balance must be struck to ensure open lines of opportunity within the organization, or they risk implying that the ‘boomerang route’ is the only way to advancement and better compensation.”
Robert Walters Group is a global consultancy firm providing recruitment, staffing, recruitment process outsourcing, and managed services across 31 countries, employing more than 4,300 people. It offers expert services ranging from traditional recruitment and staffing to comprehensive talent management, matching skilled professionals to permanent, contract, and interim roles across all professional disciplines. For more information, visit www.robertwaltersgroup.com.