Preparing for a Boomerang Market

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Preparing for a Boomerang Market

How good are you about keeping bridges in tact? A trend in hiring is emerging: the boomerang employee. A boomerang employee is an individual who worked for a company, left for another organization and ultimately returned to be employed at the initial company again. This new trend has grown due to skill shortages for new, qualified candidates. While in the past it was typical for former employees to leave a company and not look back, times are changing.

A recent study of 1,800 human resources professional found that former policies against boomerang hiring have been changed; hiring teams are 66 percent more likely to make boomerang hires today. Not only do companies often know what to expect, but these employees are able to be brought up to speed quicker. 

How will this affect the job market? Increased competition is eminent, especially from the millennial generation. Data found that 46 percent of millennials would consider returning to a previous employer, compared to 33 percent of Generation X and 29 percent of baby boomers. 

What type of individual could be considered as a boomerang employee? 

  • Opportunity Arising: These individuals often worked for an employer for a long period of time. They saw many of their co-workers leave for new opportunities. Eventually they were presented with an opportunity they could not pass up. It may have been a chance to change industries or follow their passion. However, now they have realized they would like to return.
  • Life Happens: In life, there is give and take. Maybe their spouse’s job forced the family to relocate, a new child was born or an ailing relative changed the course of career plans. Once flexibility reemerges, they would like to return.
  • Advancing Career: These employees worked for an employer for a long period of time, but found a chance to learn new skills or work at a higher level elsewhere. Once they feel they mastered their current challenge, they would like to return.
  • Seasonality: While not as apparent with technical careers, some employees will boomerang on purpose. They follow where seasonality takes them.

How can you best prepare yourself for this job market shift? 

  • Always Be Performing at Your Best: High performing employees are more likely to get re-hired than less productive employees. 
  • Stay on Positive Terms: Former employees who caused office disruptions will be less likely to be asked to return. It is in your best interest to be on positive terms with your co-workers and management. 
  • Stay Connected: In the social networking age, this should be easy. Whether personally or professionally, stay connected with former co-workers and management in case the right opportunity presents itself. Stay current on the company and their successes.
  • Don’t Jump Ship Too Quickly: Boomerang employment is not meant to show how easily you will jump ship from your current employer. Switching jobs too quickly will not bode well for you or your resume.

In the end, leaving your former employer on a positive note will increase your chances of getting hired back in the future. You must still fit the job qualifications like any other applicant, but having a strong relationship, in today’s hiring environment, will definitely help you.


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