Boomerang: the rise in returning employees

‘Boomerang’ employees are those who leave a company and later return, usually within a year or two. We explore the motivations of boomerang employees and how they could add value to your business.

4 mins read
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9 months ago

The upheaval of recent years has led many workers into making rash decisions about their lives, including their work. Now regretful at jumping ship or changing career, some are pining for their old jobs, with a growing number rejoining their former employers. 

According to our latest LinkedIn poll, 55% of 1,000+ respondents said they have hired a so-called boomerang employee and would do so again, with 26% saying they haven’t but would be open to it. Only five per cent of those who said they had rehired someone said they wouldn’t again, compared to 13% who said they never had and never would. 

A recent international survey by US company UKG found that 20% of the global workforce are those who have returned to a company.  

The changing world of work 

Over the last few years, the world of work has undergone significant changes. From the pandemic to the cost-of-living crisis, many people are leaving secure roles in search of higher pay or better benefits elsewhere, during these tough times. 

Similarly, businesses that faced financial difficulty, and had to let workers go, now face a talent shortage. Employers across the board are looking to expand their talent pool. One way to do this is by rehiring former employees. 

In the past, there were negative perceptions of people who left a company and returned. However, post-pandemic, we are seeing a culture shift where employees are prioritising roles that tick all their boxes. Job hopping has become more common as a result – which employers are becoming more accepting of – and if their previous company will provide their next opportunity, there is less hesitation among professionals to return. 

Most companies have seen rapid growth through adopting remote and hybrid working policies and greater wellbeing support for employees, which is leading workers who perhaps gave up those benefits to regret leaving for pastures new – a higher salary isn’t everything.  

Effective offboarding and employer branding 

Employers should offboard people with the mindset that they might one day return, to ensure they’re not burning any bridges.

An exit interview is crucial to offboarding in the right way – it’s an effective attraction and retention tool, which can help with assessing which aspects of the company, or role could be improved. Whether staff are unhappy with their salary or your management style, it’s important to find out why they are leaving, to ensure history doesn’t repeat and improvements can be made.

Those that take employees’ advice into consideration – even those who are leaving – prove they value employees’ opinions and are willing to adapt to their needs. Therefore, taking offboarding seriously works in favour of your employer brand. Employees who left solely for a higher salary, a change of scenery, or something else you couldn’t offer at the time, are highly likely to return when they see improvements have been made. 

Up-to-speed on day one 

Your most valuable asset could be someone you’ve already let go. For example, Steve Jobs left Apple, only to return 12 years later, when it was on the brink of collapse.

Hiring boomerang employees is a great way to find professionals who can hit the ground running. The returner already knows many of their colleagues, the company culture and ethos, and how to do their job – although not everyone returns to the same role. Therefore, there will potentially be less time and cost involved in training them before they can get stuck in. 

Most likely, you rehired someone because they were good at their job in the first place. But returners or ‘boomerangs’ also provide a fresh perspective and new ideas, having picked up new skills and knowledge during their time away. 

Rehiring the right way 

When rehiring, the main concern is that a professional will leave again. Employee retention strategies are key here, as is expectation management. 

Professionals tend to rejoin companies for a higher salary or position. This can cause resentment and jealousy, damaging company morale. However, ensuring each employee is treated fairly will prevent these negative dynamics from forming. Employers should not treat returners any better or worse than the rest of their team. 

Before you rehire someone, it’s important to give an honest overview of how the company has changed since they left and address any feedback from their exit interview. If you rehire someone having solved their issues from the first time, or at least shown an intention to improve, they will feel valued and have greater longevity in your company.

If you’re looking for the perfect professional or an outstanding opportunity, contact your nearest Reed office.

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Employee monitoring: a guide to best practices
1 mins read

Employee monitoring: a guide to best practices

Employee monitoring can help ensure productivity and accountability among employees, as managers can track their work progress and identify areas where improvement is needed. Monitoring enhances data security by detecting and preventing unauthorised access or data breaches and additionally, it enables you to adhere to regulatory and compliance requirements, reducing legal risks. 

The key thing to remember is that workplace surveillance is perfectly acceptable, as long as you can legally justify your reasons, and it is always better to be ‘overt’, not ‘covert’.  

A report shows that despite normality returning to working life post-pandemic, demand for employee surveillance software is 49% above 2019 levels. 

Our eBook, ‘Employee monitoring: a guide to best practices’, provides insight from top experts in the field including:    

Keith Rosser, Director of Group Risk and Reed Screening, Reed 

Hayfa Mohdzaini, Senior Research Adviser, CIPD

 By downloading this eBook, you will discover:   

  • What employee monitoring is 

  • Whether it's needed for your business

  • Considerations for introducing workplace monitoring  

  • The benefits and drawbacks  

  • Potential impact of surveillance on the workforce 

  • Your duties as a responsible employer 

“Monitoring software that employees see as intrusive and unnecessary is more likely to erode mutual trust in the employment relationship. Employers need to show how using monitoring software can benefit employees, while respecting their privacy.” -Hayfa Mohdzaini, Senior Research Adviser, CIPD.

Workplace monitoring: guidance for your organisation
2 mins read
  1. Article

Workplace monitoring: guidance for your organisation

​In the past, workplace monitoring was relatively simplistic: employers relied on visual supervision and basic timekeeping systems, and the concept of privacy was limited.

Fast forward to the digital age. Employee monitoring has reached new levels of sophistication and become common practice for employers seeking to boost productivity, enhance security, and ensure compliance with regulations.

Improved productivity and deeper insights

With the advancement of technology, including GPS tracking, computer monitoring software, and biometric identification systems, surveillance can provide employers with detailed insights into employee activities and performance.

One of the key benefits of employee monitoring is the ability to track and improve productivity levels. By monitoring employees' activities, employers can identify inefficiencies, analyse workflow processes, and provide targeted feedback to enhance performance. This data-driven approach allows companies to optimise their operations, allocate resources effectively, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

Monitoring can also help employers identify and address issues such as time theft, excessive breaks, and unauthorised activities in the workplace. With real-time monitoring tools, employers can detect irregularities and take corrective actions promptly, therefore improving accountability and integrity among employees.

Employee monitoring can also aid in compliance with regulations and industry standards. By keeping a close eye on electronic communications, websites visited, and files accessed, employers can ensure that employees adhere to data protection laws, maintain confidentiality, and comply with company policies. This proactive approach minimises the risk of data breaches and security incidents and also protects the company from potential legal liabilities.

Balancing surveillance and ethics

Despite the clear advantages of employee monitoring, it is crucial for organisations to approach this practice with sensitivity and respect for staff privacy. As a matter of course, employers should establish clear policies regarding monitoring practices, communicate openly with employees about the purpose and scope of monitoring, and ensure transparency in the use of monitoring tools.

Prioritise the protection of sensitive employee data by implementing robust security measures, restricting access to monitoring data, and complying with data protection regulations such as GDPR. These considerations can ease employees’ minds about any surveillance and even instil appreciation for such measures. After all, workplace security is in everyone’s best interests.

Download our best practice guide to employee monitoring

Our eBook, ‘Employee monitoring: a guide to best practices’ provides insight into how employers might best integrate employee monitoring into their organisation, and considerations for what the impact may be on employees. With opinion from thought leaders, it addresses everything from pre-employment checks to the tracking tech that might be right your organisation.

Looking to hire top talent for your organisation or to find your next dream role? Get in touch with one of our specialist consultants today.

Temporary vs permanent teaching roles: which is best for you?
4 mins read
  1. Article

Temporary vs permanent teaching roles: which is best for you?

​Whether you’re just starting out on your teaching career or considering your options midway through, both temporary and permanent teaching roles have much to offer in terms of personal and professional development. The deciding factor for many is often concerned with the impact an individual hopes to make in their career – whether they see a long future at a particular school or are drawn to the rich experiences that may lie in a series of temporary or supply teaching roles at different schools.  

Temporary teaching roles: flexibility and exploration 

Temporary teaching roles offer educators flexibility and variety in their careers. Whether it be covering maternity leave, sabbaticals, or filling short-term vacancies, these roles provide opportunities to gain diverse experiences across different schools, age groups, and subjects. For those craving new challenges and exposure to various teaching methodologies, temporary teaching, cover teaching or supply teaching positions – just some of terms by which short-term teaching goes by – can be immensely rewarding. 

Temporary (or temp) roles enable teachers to test the waters before committing to a long-term position. They offer a glimpse into different school cultures, leadership styles, and student demographics, allowing educators to discern their preferences and strengths. This exploratory phase can be invaluable for early-career teachers seeking to refine their teaching approach and identify their niche within the education sector. 

It may even be said that everyone should try supply teaching at some point in their teaching career. Such roles can strengthen resilience and help teachers adapt to diverse environments, navigate unexpected challenges, and quickly establish a rapport with students and colleagues. These experiences enrich professional skill sets and cultivate a broader perspective on education. 

However, temp roles come with some uncertainties, such as job insecurity and lack of long-term stability. While it is highly unlikely in the current climate – unless you are inflexible when it comes to your working location – teachers may face periods of unemployment between assignments, necessitating financial planning and resilience to withstand potential gaps in income. The transient nature of temporary roles can impede the establishment of deep-rooted connections within school communities, potentially affecting professional networking and career advancement opportunities, unless working with a reputable teaching recruiter 

Permanent teaching roles: stability and long-term impact 

In contrast, permanent teaching roles offer greater stability and security, providing educators with the assurance of ongoing employment and consistent income. For individuals seeking to establish roots within a school community, build lasting relationships with students and colleagues, and contribute to long-term educational initiatives, permanent positions are conducive to professional growth. 

Permanent (or perm) roles afford teachers the opportunity to make a sustained impact on students’ lives, offering continuity and consistency in their educational journey. By immersing themselves in a specific school culture and curriculum, educators can develop deep connections with students and take on mentorship opportunities and leadership roles that contribute to the school community. 

Permanent roles often provide access to comprehensive benefits packages, including healthcare, pension schemes, and professional development opportunities. These perks enhance job satisfaction and overall wellbeing, helping teachers feel valued and supported. A permanent contract often makes it easier for teachers to access opportunities for career progression and development. 

However, commitment to a permanent teaching role entails a long-term investment in a specific school or institution, therefore factors such as school ethos, leadership vision, and career prospects should be considered before committing to a permanent position. Conversely, such roles may limit opportunities for professional exploration and diversification, potentially stifling creativity and innovation in teaching practices. 

Deciding what's best for you: priorities and nice-to-haves 

Ultimately, the decision between temporary and permanent teaching roles hinges on individual priorities, aspirations, and circumstances. Here’s how to guide your decision-making process: 

Reflect on your career goals:

Take time to assess your long-term career aspirations, values, and priorities. Consider whether you prioritise stability and continuity or crave variety and exploration in your professional journey. 

Evaluate your personal circumstances:

Consider factors such as financial obligations, family commitments, and lifestyle preferences when weighing the pros and cons of supply and permanent roles. Could you cope with long commutes for example, or be ready to move time and again? Determine how each option aligns with your personal circumstances and desired work-life balance.  

Seek mentorship and advice:

Reach out to experienced educators, mentors, and career advisors for guidance and insights. Their perspectives can offer valuable guidance when it comes to the nuances of temporary and permanent teaching roles and help you make an informed decision. 

Flexibility and adaptability:

Remain open to new opportunities and embrace the flexibility inherent in both temporary and permanent roles. Your career journey may evolve over time, and being adaptable to change is essential for growth and fulfilment. 

Choosing between temporary and permanent teaching roles is a deeply personal decision that is best decided by evaluating professional aspirations and personal circumstances. While teachers all have the same goal in educating and inspiring the next generation, the way they achieve this may be through various routes – making a difference to the lives of many in one or more schools. 

Looking for your next teaching role? Get in touch with our specialist education recruiters today for temporary and permanent teaching opportunities.