Podcast: Could boomerang employees help solve labour shortages?

'Employers and companies looking to hire should consider re-engaging with alumni,' says expert

Podcast: Could boomerang employees help solve labour shortages?

A recent poll has suggested that for those workers who left their employer during the pandemic, their new organization didn’t quite meet all of their needs.

“A large number of white-collar professionals, 79% actually, are considering returning to their pre-COVID employer after realizing that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side and what really has changed for many of these workers is that things didn’t work out as they expected with their new jobs,” says Martin Fox, managing director of Robert Walters Canada.

The survey also showed that many factors have changed since they originally made the decision to walk out the door, which brought on the longing for the old organization.

Fox sat down with Canadian HR Reporter for the latest podcast of CHRR Talk to chat about the poll results and why employers would do well to consider welcoming back those who might have left during the tough days of COVID.

Wish list for Canadian employees

While such workplace benefits such as flexibility, remote-work options and overall better work-life balance were behind initial reasons for leaving, times have changed, says Fox.

“I’m not saying that those things aren’t important anymore but quite frankly, inflation and the cost of living; salaries, benefits, job security, progression, went right back to the top of every Canadian’s wish list.”

The survey found revealed some surprising conclusions, he says.  

“Current employers are no longer meeting the needs of their workforce. A third stated that cost of living crisis, and hybrid working fatigue, which is almost 24%, has changed how they feel about their most recent employment situation, and almost half, 49%, admit originally rich reasons for leaving: purpose, flexibility, for example, are no longer relevant,” says Fox.

Many workers are making a big mistake leaving and finding out the old organization wasn’t all that bad, says a workplace expert.

How to bring back the boomerang worker

Organizations who are struggling filling positions should strongly consider reaching out to some of these formerly disgruntled workers.

“They can hit the ground running. They’ve already conducted your business processes. People have previous vested interest in the brand; all these qualities which can take years to install in a new person, I think employers and companies looking to hire should consider re-engaging with alumni. You should also look to train managers on a positive exit process with that potential for the person to become a boomerang employee at some point,” he says.

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