A survey by the Society of Human Resources Management shows that 86% of employers are willing to welcome back quitters.
Jim Steele liked his work at Salesforce.com, but he missed the adventures of the startup world. So, in 2014, he went to work for Insidesales.com, then Yext, hoping to build along the way another big company. Four years later, his former employer called. “Would you please come back?” Salesforce asked.
“Salesforce is home, it is in my blood,” says Steele, who found his way “home” in October 2020 as president of Global Strategic Customers. This story is part of the Boomerang Spotlight section on Salesforce.com’s website, a place where returning employees share their own experiences and encourage others to emulate them.
In this era of the great resignation, former employees are no longer regarded as traitors. On the contrary, they are seen as saviors who already know the culture of the company inside-out and are ready to contribute more quickly than brand-new employees. Salesforce.com advertises its willingness to welcome former employees back, and it isn’t unique: Facebook, LinkedIn, rating agency Moody’s, Citibank, Walt Disney—they’re all happy to fill open positions with boomerang employees, reflecting a growing trend. According to LinkedIn’s research, 4.5% of all new hires were former employees in 2021; two years earlier it was only 3.9%.
Naturally, the second honeymoon has a better chance of success if the returning worker left on good terms. Perhaps he or she had to raise young children or was moving to another town. After a few years, managers and co-workers are happy to have them back. A survey by the Society of Human Resources Management shows that 86% of employers are willing to welcome back quitters.
On the other hand, only 23% of workers who left are open to returning. A Cornell University study of a large health-care organization tracked 13,000 employees over a seven-year period. Among them, 2,053 workers were boomerang workers.
Conclusion? Returning employees are often better performers. They are especially good at collecting information from numerous departments, and they are particularly successful when collaboration across the organization is needed. On-boarding is quicker because they already understand the company culture and don’t need too much training. Welcome home.