The boomerang employee culture is fast catching up in the corporate setup where both employers and employees find it a win-win situation to work together again,” Dr Mahesh Bhatt, Chief Business Officer, TeamLease Services told CNBCTV18.com.
Those who quit their jobs for better pay or work culture during the Great Resignation wave and feel they resigned in haste are returning to their old workplaces and have a new name — Boomerang employees.
Boomerang became a trend in 2015 when Instagram created an app that allowed people to record one-second video clips that played in a loop for six seconds. Now the trend is being seen practically in the job sector as employees return to their former offices after a brief stint at another place.
Four of 10 people (43 percent) who quit their jobs during the pandemic admit they were better off at their old job, according to a six-country survey of nearly 4,000 people in 2022 by UKG, a leading provider of HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions.
The report titled ‘Resign, Resigned, or Re-Sign? Pandemic-era job quitters and their managers wish they had a do-over’, compares survey responses of 1,950 employees who voluntarily left their jobs since March 2020 with 1,850 people managers who had people on their teams quit across France, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, the US, and the UK.
According to the survey, of people not fully satisfied in their new role, 62 percent admitted, “The job I quit was better than my job now.” When all job leavers were asked what they missed most about their former jobs, the top answer was their peers/coworkers (38 percent), followed by familiarity and comfort in the role (31 percent), customers they served (22 percent), compensation/pay (19 percent), and work-life balance (16 percent), it said.
While the survey doesn’t include respondents from India, domestic recruitment firms have confirmed the emergence of a boomerang employee culture in the country.
“The boomerang culture is fast catching up in the corporate setup where both employers and employees find it a win-win situation to work together again,” Mahesh Bhatt, Chief Business Officer, TeamLease Services, told CNBCTV18.com.
He explained that for employers, it is better to associate with someone with whom they have worked in the past, and they have also received additional experience while working with another entity earlier.
Employees get to return to work in familiar surroundings and are also conscious of the work culture, values, policies, and people, he said. “Many of those who are rehired are the ones who left for personal reasons including marriage, relocation, higher education, shift change, family exigencies, among others,” he added.
According to Bhatt, the boomerang trend currently constitutes about 15-20 percent of the job offers, especially where skills matter. It is observed that the attrition rate amongst boomerangs is low compared to new hires.
“However, a word of caution is that the employers prefer to welcome back those who had left the organisation on a good note and have had a good track record,’’ he said.
Sekhar Garisa, CEO of Monster India, pointed out that with the shift in the employee perspective with regard to wellbeing and the workplace, stability has become one’s priority.
Last year saw high attrition across many sectors due to weaker remunerations, rigidity at work, and lack of attention to employees’ outlook, he said. But starting this year, hiring plans strengthened, and there were decent payouts along with improved employee engagement and value propositions, he said.
He believes inclusions, along with the stability, have compelled professionals in junior and middle management roles to rethink and have somewhat led them to work with their former employees, which is a win-win situation for both.
Garisa believes that the workplace and work culture greatly impact one’s productivity, and the same is understood by today’s workforce. Therefore, in some cases, people miss the culture or work environment they were used to at their previous jobs and therefore decided to move back.
The boomerang trend has worked for employers, too, he said, as most employers who need talent are looking for candidates already familiar with the systems as they tend to be ‘go-getters’ for them from day one. “Hiring itself is a time taking process, but the returning employees are already aware of the processes and don't require extensive training therefore, can be profitable from the start day,” he shared with CNBCTV18.com.
Teamlease's Bhatt said, the lack of skilled employees helps boomerang employees get a 40-50 percent salary hike compared to the salary they drew before leaving, even if, they left just two years back. Those who moved out for a longer period get even a 100 percent hike, he said, adding that sometimes, these are given in terms of long-term incentives and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).