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Boomerang employees

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Boomerang employees

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

THEY say love is sweeter the second time around. Does the same hold true for work? Maybe.

According to Kerry Hannon’s article featured at, boomerang employees are on the rise. These are individuals who choose to return to work for a former employer and are greeted with open arms.

In a new study called “The Corporate Culture and Boomerang Employee,” career gurus David Almeda and Dan Schawbel worked with the Workforce Institute at Kronos and found that of more than 1.800 human resource (HR) professionals, 76 percent “are more accepting of hiring boomerang employees today than in the past.”

This is fairly logical as a familiar person would likely be hired compared to a total stranger. A former employee would already have a grasp on the company’s culture and operations, so he or she can immediately hit the ground running even on the first day.

Managers have become more open to rehiring previous employees, recognizing the high probability that these employees may have originally left due to lack of job fit and that they may now be perfect for the newly opened opportunity that matches their current skills and competencies.

In the article, Almeda identified “four flavors “of boomerang employees (source: “Welcome Back: Boomerang Employees Are On The Rise”):

1. Those who left to further their career. These are folks who worked for an employer for a number of years, but saw an opportunity to add new skills and progress and then came back at a higher level and higher pay, he says. They may have been gone three to five years.

2. Folks with a career itch to scratch. They’d been at a company a fairly long time. Their colleagues may have moved on to do something different.

They saw an opportunity they couldn’t pass up. Or they came to the conclusion to try something different, maybe an opportunity to change industries or follow a passion.

They thought, “if not now, when am I going to do it?” Sometimes that works out well, but sometimes it doesn't. “Whoops, it looked better on paper, or in my head then when it got to be reality,” he says. So they circle back and reach out to their former boss and say, humbly, “I’d like to come back if opportunity arises.” And the dance begins.

3. A life event forced them to leave. A spouse may have relocated, which required them to leave their job, or they took time off to take care of sick parent. Now they want to return as a contract worker, or work remotely with some flexibility.

4. Those who boomerang on purpose. Almeda calls these, “See you next year workers.” Periodic planned boomerangs are increasingly popular, particularly with “retired” boomers, think seasonal workers, who take on positions at National Parks, ski mountain resorts, or even amusement parks. They routinely work a season, and then return the following one.

Boomerang employment reiterates the age-old adage of taking care of relationships even when at one point there is a goodbye. When you part ways in the best of terms, there may be an opportunity to open doors leading to an enhanced connection.

Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on November 08, 2017.

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