Thousands of people are returning to the jobs they previously held—but making far more or far less money than before.
- Employees for companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are beginning to work previously held jobs they were laid off from, with the caveat of lower salary, no benefits, and an end date, The Seattle Times reports.
- Third-party recruiters are finding themselves unintentionally sending job offers to employees who were recently laid off from companies that are now willing to rehire them for contract work, often at the behest of the tech companies themselves who want experienced contractors.
- The economy is also facing a rising percentage of “Boomerang Employees,” with as many as 28% of recent new hires being workers who quit and returned within 36 months, Harvard Business Review reports.
Why It’s Important
The ongoing stress on the economy is causing two things to happen at once—employers are laying off large numbers of excess employees, and disengaged workers are embracing “the Great Resignation” to seek jobs in greener pastures, with more remote options, better pay, or improved benefits—a trend that is ongoing after nearly a year.
The job market is still very strong, with a current unemployment rate of 3.7%, but the recent firing of hundreds of thousands of tech employees has left that industry with an overabundance of talented staff seeking new opportunities and finding themselves drawn back to their previous employers out of desperation.
At the same time, a certain amount of regret has overset employees who wanted to quit their jobs for something better. As we previously reported, a recent study finds that 71% of white-collar workers who left their jobs in the past year for better pay or work cultures regret their choice. Many aim to reclaim their position—sparking a “Great Regret” among workers.
Backing Up A Bit
Julie Bauke is the Chief Career Strategist at The Bauke Group in Cincinnati, Ohio. She tells Leaders Media that employees who find themselves drawn to return back to their previous jobs need to ask specific questions about why they left in the first place. Past jobs are always going to look better in the rearview mirror. If the reasons are right, returning employees have been able to cease some advantages.
“Employers used to be like, ‘Sorry! You burned a bridge!’ But they aren’t like that anymore. They’ve had to get creative in finding people, swallowing their pride, and taking people back. Employers and employees are swallowing their pride. Employers no longer have all the power,” she says.
During the pandemic, many companies brought in new employees with significantly hirer pay rates and sign-on bonuses to attract talent. This created a culture of inequity and frustration among employees, with many employees training new recruits who were paid significantly more than themselves. Many employees have received greater raises by speaking to their managers, quitting their jobs, and being rehired with a signing bonus than they would be staying in the same position.
“There are also plenty of people during the pandemic who got gitty about being recruited and jumped to jobs they didn’t fit into. They realized that they hadn’t made the smartest decision and went back to their old jobs, negotiating for different roles. Some people want to find someplace where the grass is greener and don’t find it,” says Bauke.