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Are You A Boomerang Hire? You Might Be Part Of The New Workplace Trend

Sometimes, your dream job isn’t all it cracked up to be – and that’s OK.

More and more employees are actually returning to their previous employers after a stint away in another role, meaning they fall under a new workplace term: Bommerang Hires.

According to LinkedIn, the number of UK workers returning to former employers increased from 1.9% in 2019 to 2.23% in 2022.

This latest workplace development isn’t exactly surprising, and we’ve all seen the shift the pandemic triggered within the workforce.

First, there was the Great Resignation – everyone re-evaluated what they wanted from their jobs during the days when they were locked down at home, decided their current roles just weren’t cutting it, so they quit.


Then, there’s been a wave of workplace trends to describe the sense of burnout (or rust out) plenty of people are feeling, including calls for people to introduce Bare Minimum Mondays and Quiet Fridays to an effort to reduce stress.

The Great Regret popped up as well, to describe people who feared they had made a mistake in moving jobs.

And in 2022, an international study from tech company UKG found 43% of respondents who quit their job during the pandemic admitted to being better off in their old role.

So, it makes sense that we’re all talking about being Boomerang Hires now.

This is a particularly common theme within administration, oil, gas and mining and financial services, according to LinkedIn’s Economic Graph.

But it was the government administration sector had the highest percentage of boomerang employees in 2022, with 3.77% going back to work for their old employer.

LinkedIn speculated that this might be because these jobs require a large amount of prior knowledge.

It’s not all just about employees’ personal preference with this trend, though.

The tight labour market amid a struggling economy, low unemployment rates and high vacancies means it’s a stroke of luck for most employers to get old workers back.

Going back to your old workplace is much more popular now than it was in 2019
Going back to your old workplace is much more popular now than it was in 2019

Going back to your old workplace is much more popular now than it was in 2019

They have experience, meaning there’s reduced onboarding time and increased retention rates on top of a boost to morale, according to a Harvard Business Review from March. 

Many of those going back are also coming out of retirement.

Approximately half of the former civil servants aged between 50 and 65 have thought about returning to their old jobs because of the rising cost of living, according to the Office for National Statistics. 

Over in the health sector, 37% are thinking of returning and along with 36% of IT workers.

Only technology, the information and media industries have not seen an increase in the number of Boomerang hires since 2019.

But, LinkedIn also showed that employees who switch roles in their organisations are more likely to stay with the company for a longer period.

It works out to a 64% chance of remaining after three years compared to 45% for those who don’t move around.