The trend of these ‘boomerang employees’, workers who return after leaving a company, is said to be fast emerging, with organisations opening their doors to accommodate their former staff. MakeMyTrip, which was among the many companies that witnessed high attrition levels, has seen 35-40 people rejoin the firm. MakeMyTrip CHRO Yuvaraj Srivastava said he has been receiving emails from former employees who want to come back as the industry rebounds. He said returnees say “they’ve realised the value of the culture here and an enabling leadership” after spending six months in a different organisation.
Recruitment agency Antal India MD Joseph Devasia said several clients within tech over the last two months have asked to get back candidates who left the organisation. “We understand many who have left are not happy and want to return. Many of them had moved out with a higher compensation package. But several of them want to return because of the work culture at the previous organisation which they miss. Among the candidates who left during the ‘great resignation’, 20-30% are looking to return to the old employer,” said Devasia. The sentiment is similar to clients who want former employees to return. For instance, a tech startup, said Devasia, is running a full project with Antal India to bring talent back.
“The benefit of a boomerang employee phenomenon will mostly come to organisations that have seen some amount of continuity in their culture, in the way they have run the organisation and the way they treat people. In our case, we have been looking at this trend for many years. But in the last couple of years, it has been accentuated,” said Srivastava. In the last 18 months, MakeMyTrip created a separate vertical in the hiring team to focus on boomerang employees and offer dropout cases. “The general sense is that candidates are excited to rejoin. We have also involved line managers who worked with the people who quit to influence them to come back,” said Srivastava.
MakeMyTrip also plans to release a referral programme for leaders to bring their team members back. “Return of old employees has an overall positive rub-off on the morale of the entire organisation,” said Srivastava. In the last few years, the industry saw a huge churn in the front line. There were 30-40% offer dropout cases and attrition hovering at 20-30%. That had become a concern for all companies. “It shows that there was a huge gap in terms of demand & supply and a lack of clarity around career aspirations & planning. With youngsters, it was getting further pronounced and was putting things in a complete disarray,” said Srivastava.
Antal International founder & CEO Anthony Goodwin said, “As an organisation, we benefited from the great resignation because there were several job opportunities for candidates. Now we are seeing a trend globally where people have realised that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. They want to return to their previous employers and companies too are keen on re-hiring that talent. It is not only in the tech & startup world but is also driven by a huge resurgence in the hospitality sector. We are facilitating that whole process of boomerang employees, particularly in Europe.”