Boomerang Employees: A Match Made in Heaven?
As Swiss Toni might say, having a job is a lot like being in a relationship*.
And just like a relationship, should you ever go back to an old job?
You might miss the warmth, the familiarity, the laughs, the food and those late late nights – but does this mean you’ve just forgotten the silent mornings, the betrayal and the sad sad way they made you feel?
We’re of course talking about Boomerang Employees,
Boomerang Employees are those crybabies who leave a company voluntarily only to come crawling back (aka rehired) at a later date.
Most of us have had the one that got away, maybe we saw more potential elsewhere, maybe a life event forced them apart, or maybe we were just young and eager for change.
Whatever the reason, don’t just take our word for it. LinkedIn’s Vice President, Brendan Browne (a boomerang employee himself – although his Linkedin seems to suggest otherwise…), says ‘If interviewing for a job is like dating, accepting an offer is like signing a lease together and quitting is akin to breaking up.’
The number of boomerang employees rekindling that old flame with an ex-employer is continually on the rise and more popular than ever as both employers and employes are recognising the benefits for all.
So here’s five reasons why more and more employees and organisations are enjoying their (second) honeymoon period:
1. You have history
One of the main benefits of sneaking back in there is that there’s already an established familiarity between employee and employer. Just like your ex doesn’t need to ask how you want your tea in the morning (with a kiss presumably), a boomerang employee already knows how things work, and unlike a new flame they are able to jump right in, eliminating all the initial chirpsing involved and any time-consuming learning curves. Although we all like curves.
This familiarity provides assurance to both employer and employee, as both can be aware of the expectations they have for one another, removing the gamble from the recruitment process when hiring someone you’ve had to make a judgement on based on a couple interviews. Like when you go straight into a relationship after one date – it rarely works. Equally, as a boomerang employee, you already know what the employer expects from you and therefore can be confident that this role suits your needs.
2. The sex is better than ever
Many employees leave to further their careers and broaden their skills set. When they return, they’ve got new skills to bring to the table, or tricks to the bedroom if you will. These alternative viewpoints and exposure to competition tactics may not have acquired had they stayed, so it’s a win-win situation for all.
3. Things have changed
Like people, work cultures change. These niggling pet-peeves and repeated blunders are a thing of the past, and you’ve no longer got those wandering eyes for the competition. Maybe you’ve both naturally grown out of it or, just taken their advice and actively worked on your flaws. Another reason that proves you still care.
4. It’s love not lust.
After leaving for someone else or maybe going it alone for a while, they’ve ultimately decided that they were happy back where they were, and realised that their head clearly wasn’t doing the thinking when they walked out that door.
Now they’re back, the boomerang is motivated in their work, and this has an overall psychological benefit for the current workforce and can increase overall engagement. Just how you’re not attracted to someone until someone else shows an interest, seeing an employee return reassures current employees that the grass isn’t greener on the other side.
5. This time it’s for keeps
The boomerang has had their fun and played the field for a bit, but now, they’re ready to settle down and make a serious commitment. You’re both ready to have a serious talk about where it is going this time and ensure you’re both on the same page. You both agree it’s not about the size (of the pay cheque), but if you like it then you should put a ring on it. Do we hear wedding bells?
So if you’ve been thinking about that ex, why not get back in touch? It’s now easier than ever to return to an ex-employer, with many making it easy to do so. Last year, Capgemini, a global consulting corporation hired 425 boomerang employees in India through their dedicated Global Alumni programme ‘Circle’ – an online network with exclusive access to people, content and opportunities. Many organisations now have alumni groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, making it easy to slide back into their DMs at anytime.
So regardless of whether you’re a client or candidate, keep your mind open to the possibility of boomeranging. Just remember, if you decide it’s time to move on, don’t burn bridges. There’s no harm in remaining friends because who knows, it might not be the end for you two after all.
* Swiss Toni would actually say a lot like making love to a beautiful woman but that’s a bit rude to put at the top.