This year, the so-called ‘Great Resignation’ made headlines, highlighting the trend of employees leaving their jobs in search of better pay, more flexible work arrangements and a host of other desired attributes in an ‘ideal’ employer. However, we are now seeing that employees who left for greener pastures are finding that the grass isn’t always greener with another company or organization.
These individuals are sometimes referred to as ‘boomerang employees,’ and they could be the next big trend after the Great Resignation, according to workplace experts.
A recent 2022 study by UKC found that 43% of people who quit their jobs during the pandemic now admit they were actually better off in their old job. It was also reported that nearly 1 in 5 people who quit during the pandemic have already gone back to the job they left.
During COVID, many people decided to leave a tolerable employer for options that appeared to give them more control, more money or just something different. Now that the workplace has returned to some level of normalcy, old jobs often look a little better.
We’ve found this to be true in our own experience. One client had an employee leave for another opportunity that he thought would be a better fit for him: a job with a larger firm that had more opportunities for growth. However, he learned that the culture wasn’t a good match. After the job didn’t live up to his expectations, he returned to his original job.
Employers have evolved too
While some employers may be concerned about loyalty when rehiring former employees, most are welcoming the institutional knowledge and company experience that a solid employee can bring back to the workplace. At the same time, many organizations have taken the opportunity to change and adapt to new norms post-pandemic and have improved their value proposition with enhanced flexibility or a stronger compensation strategy.
MarathonHR had an employee who left in search of a work from home arrangement. At the time, her role with us couldn’t be performed remotely. Ultimately, when she couldn’t find the right opportunity, she approached us about coming back. We were able to essentially craft a new job that could be performed remotely and allow her to return as an employee. It was a winning solution for both of us.
Employers and employees are still adjusting to post-pandemic work environments. Being open to rehiring boomerang employees can benefit everyone.