Podcast: The rise of 'boomerang employees'

Talent expert discusses trend of workers keen to return after pandemic

Podcast: The rise of 'boomerang employees'

Trends in the labour market have seen a rise in buzzwords of late – from hybrid working to the Great Resignation, and now the emerging “boomerang employees” – used to describe employees who have returned to their pre-covid roles.

In an HRD Talk podcast, Martin Fox, managing director of Robert Walters, discusses the dynamics of the labour market, the impact of the pandemic, and the growing trend of boomerang employees in Canada. 

A recent poll conducted by Robert Walters focused on workers who left their jobs during the pandemic to join the great resignation phenomenon and are now reconsidering their decisions. 

Listen to the full podcast here

With the exception of the tech sector, at the onset of the pandemic, there were widespread hiring freezes. Post-pandemic, there was a surge in hiring in response to market changes such as increased emphasis on digitalisation, which occurred during the pandemic, said Fox.

This led to a significant talent shortage and a surge in companies offering higher salaries to attract talent and companies that couldn’t match those salaries had to increase flexibility, soft perks and respond to people seeking more purpose in their work, he said.

Labour market trends

Economic turbulence, rising inflation, and the cost of living are “creating a tough market where companies are cautious to hire and candidates are more cautious to leave their jobs,” said Fox. The Robert Walters survey found that 79% of white-collar professionals surveyed are considering returning to their previous employers.

In addition, employers are increasingly open to re-hiring former employees, found the survey, which is a shift from past attitudes. Factors driving this include the talent shortage, familiarity with previous employees, and cost savings during onboarding.

It’s crucial to manage the return of “boomerang employees” transparently and effectively in order to maintain a positive work environment and ensure they are aware of any changes that have happened since they left, said Fox.

To find out more about managing boomerang employees, listen to the podcast on HRD Talk now.

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