Your Old Employer Might be Your Best Bet for a New Job  by@rickchen

Your Old Employer Might be Your Best Bet for a New Job

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Rick Chen

Rick Chen is the director, head of public relations at Blind. He writes about tech culture and the workplace.

The coworker that just left the company may be back, and they might return sooner than expected.

The new class of workers, sometimes called “boomerang employees” because they leave and return to their employer, are not as disadvantaged in the job market as conventional career advice might suggest.

More than two out of five professionals (42%) believed their current company treats former employees fairly during the interview process, according to a survey of 3,129 verified professionals in the U.S. from the professional social network Blind.

In contrast, 14% think a potential boomerang employee does not have a fair shot compared to a fresh, new-to-the-company candidate. The remaining 44% polled by Blind were unsure.

For the millions of Americans who left their jobs in the last year amid “ The Great Resignation,” the survey findings might be welcome news.

What is a boomerang employee?

A boomerang employee is someone who leaves a company and returns later. The worker can come back to their same role or another, including at a more senior position or a different department entirely.

The benefits of being a boomerang employee

It can pay off to return to a former employer as a boomerang employee. Because they have worked at the company already, boomerang employees may have a leg up on other candidates and new hires once rehired.

More than four out of five current job interviewers (86%) view candidates that used to work at the company more positively, according to Blind, compared to 14% who said: “more negatively.”

Blind found every professional who interviews job candidates as part of their role at LinkedIn said they favored former LinkedIn employees. More than nine out of 10 current job interviewers at Adobe, Capital One, Expedia Group, Google, Indeed.com, Meta (Facebook), Salesforce, Uber, VMware and Zillow Group said the same.

Click here for full CSV data from the poll.

A boomerang employee is typically already familiar with the company culture and how to get work done. Often, the professional also comes with new skills and experiences from the time spent at another employer. The result may be less training or onboarding required.

What to know about a boomerang job offer

Professionals considering returning to a past employer should first understand whether being a boomerang employee is possible.

Many companies have a standard called “eligibility for rehire,” which typically requires a track record of meeting expectations. Someone terminated for poor performance, violating company policy, or even leaving on bad terms, usually cannot come back as a boomerang employee.

Some companies also have a “cool-off” period, which makes some former employees ineligible for rehiring for a specific time. Ex-employees might be barred from coming back for several months or as long as one year or more.

The policy is rare, and nearly half of professionals (44%) do not know if their company has one in effect, according to Blind. Only one in 10 worked surveyed by Blind said their company had a cool-off period or similar policy, making former employees ineligible for rehire, while 46% said their companies did not.

Cool-off periods for former employees may be more common among large companies, but the policy is not limited to specific company sizes or industries.

A plurality of verified professionals at Bloomberg said their company had a cool-off or similar policy. Many Oracle, Twitter and Walmart employees reported the same, too.

The bottom line

Professionals who quit their job as part of the “Great Resignation” or left the workforce because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may have another option in today’s job market: their previous employer. Companies may be more likely to hire a boomerang employee than other candidates, according to Blind.

Methodology

Blind conducted an online survey of 3,129 verified professionals in the U.S. on its platform from Nov. 23 to 30, 2021, to understand whether companies may be treating returning former employees differently than other candidates when hiring.

Also published on Teamblind's blog


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