Old Company, New Job? Why People Are Returning to Past Employers

Old Company, New Job? Why People Are Returning to Past Employers

Comebacks aren't just for washed-up pop stars and questionable fashion trends.

Increasingly, they also apply to workers, specifically "boomerang employees" who leave and then rejoin a company.

It's becoming a more accepted practice, according a new survey of 1,800-plus human resource professionals, managers and employees by Kronos and Workplace Trends.


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A whopping 76% of HR pros said they're more open to rehiring someone than they were five years ago. Nearly two-thirds of managers agreed they'd be quick to host a “welcome back” party.

And workers seem game: 40% would consider a boomerang. So far, however, it remains the exception, with only 15% of those surveyed having been rehired.

Factor in age, and you get a better sense of how corporate culture is shifting. Millennials (at 46%) are the most gung-ho about the possibility of returning to a former employer, compared to 33% of Gen Xers and 29% of Baby Boomers.

Researchers suggest these stats could mean Millennials, who are prone to job-hopping, regret moving on from a gig too soon. But perhaps they simply have a more fluid notion of their career paths.

Whatever the reason for leavingto spend time with family or get a degreepotential boomerang employees can make a prior stint work in their favor.

About half of HR pros and managers said they gave higher priority to return applicants, citing that the prior knowledge of office culture and technical skills made them more attractive—and cost effective—candidates.

It certainly helps if you left on positive terms, maintained relationships and can show a sense of commitment. About one-third of HR execs admitted that boomerangers bring a stigma that they might up and leave again.

Think your career path could use a reboot? Here are five expert-backed ways to scrub your work life fresh.


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