A "Boomerang employee" is someone who returns to work for their former employer. So, why do the boomerang employees come back?

As the number of people quitting their jobs has been on a steady upward trajectory for some time now, companies are also seeing the return of former employees. While frequent job switching was often frowned upon in professional & social circles, it has become a more acceptable trend with the introduction of Gen-Y (Millennials) in the workforce. Millennials are characterized by being impatient and tend to jump jobs for instant gratification.

Reasons for exits as per Monster
23% of Men leave for Compensation issues;
25% Women leave for Work-life balance issues

Other reasons for returning include
17% for growth and personal development
17% missing the people :)
11 % work culture
7% are attracted to company's Current leadership
By Age
50% of Millennials were 'Willing' to return;
70% of 55years+ staff said they would “Never” go back

In today’s world, Boomerang employees are happily welcomed back. Companies are now seen to be more generous in welcoming past employees and reflects in their policies. Why do these employees leave their workplace at all? Career growth, compensation and a ‘Bad boss’ are some other prominent reasons. Over the years, leaders, structures, policies & work environment changes in companies also creates ample opportunity for employees to return to a more favorable work environment.

As per Forbes,
•    76% of employers are more accepting of a boomerang employee,
•    40% of employees have stated that they would consider going back to their previous job(s)
•    15% of employees returned to their previous employers.

The Employers Perspective

Boomerang employees come with fresh energy, are usually better motivated, passionate and thereafter more loyal to the organization. It removes the fear of the ‘Unknown’ from the equation for both parties. It’s the advantage of selection by past performance than blindly accepting a newcomer who may or may not be a proper fit. It does save a significant time, effort & cost of recruitment, training & familiarization while onboarding past employees.


A contrarian school of thought by Employers who desist such rehiring, believe that a former employee may spoil the apple cart by dislodging the existing ones. Returning employees can be Stubborn, feel entitled to higher benefits, chuck attitude about how they were welcomed back and can reignite past friction with some colleagues. It also gives them an unfair advantage to negotiate higher than usual compensation that creates further dissent amongst staff and an innate hierarchical relationship. This however is a common challenge of a dynamic marketplace and puts HR on their toes to stay aligned to the market.

Avoid burning bridges, as "You can never say never!”
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