Think Before You Boomerang | Articles & Tips | | Buffalo




 Articles and Advice

 Think Before You Boomerang

By Joe Stein

One of the most prominent recruiting tactics currently employed by companies, is to rehire former employees to fill vacant positions. For many Recruiters, going this rehire route to capture ex-employees is a relatively easy (and inexpensive) fix to staff otherwise challenging-to-fill positions.
The allure of a boomerang (coming back) employee for a company is often similar to why the opportunity may be appealing to the Job Seeker. The Job Seeker must, however, do a full self-reflection regarding whether returning to his/her old company is in their best interest. We have all heard of the term, “you can never go home again”. If you think about it, there must have been a good reason why you departed in the first place.
Let’s take a look at some of the items you should consider when determining whether you should return to your old company.
• How is the compensation offer? Is your old employer suddenly offering you a lot more than you would have made had you stayed there? If this is true, will history repeat itself again in the future? Will you need to leave again in future years in order to be compensated fairly, or do you believe that they will treat you differently this time in terms of increases? You don’t want to rejoin the company knowing that in a few years you are going to have to do it all over again.
• Your former employer may be recruiting you back because they are comfortable with you. They know what to expect from you and feel you won’t be surprised by what you see regarding the job or culture. There is usually an expectation that you will hit the ground running and become productive relatively quickly into the role. You have to ask yourself how much you value this comfort of knowing exactly what you are getting into. This is usually not the environment that leads a person to stretch themselves and try new things in order to grow his/her career.
• Was the “grass truly greener” or not for you? In some situations, a person leaves because they just don’t know what it is like working elsewhere. This is especially true if it was your first “real” position. You may find out that it really wasn’t that bad and you learned a valuable lesson. Your former employer may actually find this mindset to be of value, figuring that you may communicate about your experience after leaving and convince other employees to stay.
• What type of reaction do you expect from others? This one is hard to gauge unless you have friends or family working already within the organization. Will you be welcomed back with open arms as if you never left, or will you need to win people back over again, especially those wary that you could depart again? This may be an easier transition if you stayed in contact with some former co-workers while you were away, because they could serve as advocates for you. Are you prepared and OK with either reaction? Will your loyalty be questioned in terms of future assignments and promotional opportunities, or will your departure be “forgotten”.
• Linked to the general reaction that you may receive is your relationship with your past Manager, especially if this person is going to lead you all over again. Be sure to confirm that this person is truly on-board with your return and not just doing what she/he is told, or only wanting you back because you won’t have to be trained (making it easier in the short-term for them). This situation can be particularly sticky if you expressed any displeasure in your departing exit interview (a reason why I always express caution to people about participating in these). Of course, if you are going to report to someone different and/or the person has departed the organization, your concerns may be eliminated.
• Finally, make sure that you are accurately evaluating how things truly were when you used to work there. Humans can be odd in that the passage of time will often cause us to remember the good things and forget the more negative. It is probably why almost every President’s approval rating seems to go up the longer they are out of office. Please make sure you are truly remembering the job and company as it was, and not what you have positively modified it to be.
Deciding to boomerang back to your previous employer is a big decision and should only be done after careful consideration. Give serious thought to why you originally left and what (if anything) will be different regarding your 2nd (or more) time with the company. It can be very flattering that your previous employer is interested in bringing you back, but you control whether you will return and it should only be done if you feel that it will be the best for you, both in the short and long term.
As always, best of luck in your job search!