The rise of Boomerang employees 1

The rise of Boomerang employees

Aneth Ng-Lim

Posted at Sep 11 2023 04:54 PM

Across the globe, the pandemic left many employees restless and wanting to move on, and many eventually did. Remember the Great Resignation or the Great Reshuffle? Then a number of these same employees realized their new jobs were not quite what they expected, or wanted, and regrettably admitted they were better off in their old jobs.

This led to the rise of the Boomerang employees, or those who decided to return to their previous employer.

According to a survey by headhunter firm Robert Walters Philippines, the Philippines is also ripe with Boomerang hopefuls. Nearly 8 out of 10 Filipino employees are willing to return to their previous employer. Of these, 46 percent are considering doing so for better pay and an upward movement in their career path. In fact, as many as 33 percent of employees polled have reached out to their ex-employers in the past 2 years to ask about job opportunities, the same survey showed.

While some employers are open to the idea, there are those who candidly admitted that they are cautious. This is understandable as taking in former employees have advantages and disadvantages. It would be good for the employers and employees to weigh them before the former reopens the door, and the latter to walk through it.

If you’re a Boomerang hopeful, here are some words of employment wisdom from a Boomerang employee.

#1 You said you left for better pay, and yet you’re coming back for better pay? 

Most employees leave for better pay, but not all do the Math and then realize they could have done better. Don’t just look at the basic pay when you get an offer. Start by listing down all your take home pay from your current employer. This should cover your basic pay, your allowances if any, bonuses that may be paid quarterly, twice a year or annually, plus benefits. Then make an apples-to-apples comparison to any job offers you get. 

#2 Don’t just take their word (or Math) for it 

When applying for another job, employers will ask for your current compensation. Try to be as detailed as you can, and even include anticipated increases and bonuses. If they want you, expect your prospective employer to come back with an offer that shows how much better their compensation package is. Some would say it is 10% more, 15%, 20% or even 200%. Whatever the number, don’t trust it without doing your own computation. Even better, ask for expert advice from an HR professional who can help you spot red flags or negotiate for better terms.


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#3 As you grow older, you will realize it’s not just about money

You may get a higher offer for basic pay, but lose out on bonuses and a car plan. If you’re thinking of buying a house soon, compare which employer has better housing benefits. Look into vacation leaves, sick leaves, emergency leaves and see if these are generous and can be monetized. Medical insurance is a great benefit to have, especially if they will cover your spouse and children too, or your aging parents. 

#4 You left for better opportunities, and now returning for better opportunities? 

The survey showed that 42 percent of the respondents who left their job in the last two years did so for professional growth. But the same survey showed that 46 percent are thinking of becoming Boomerang employees for the same reason. My hot take? The new employer could have lured them with senior sounding positions, only to realize that there are more ladders in the new company than in your previous one. If you stayed where you were, you could have been a manager in 2 years, and possibly an assistant vice president in another 2 to 3 years. But you moved to be a manager now, only to realize that there are 3 manager tiers in the new company, so now the earliest you can become an assistant vice president is in 8 years.

Not all companies are created equal too. Some companies are bigger and have more growth opportunities, while some are smaller, nimbler, but limited people movements. If you can, ask people who worked or are with the new company to better assess your opportunities.

#5 Get it in writing!

It’s not that you don’t trust the new employer, it’s just that you should not trust any employers who do not want to document the offers they are making. Talk is cheap, and if they value you as much as they say, they should be ready to get all those promises in writing. Document as much as you can in the offer sheet which they should sign, and make sure all of these are neatly translated to your employment contract.

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There are at least 2.7 million jobless Filipinos in July, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. The country’s unemployment rate rose to 4.8 percent from 4.5 percent in June.

The underemployment rate also worsened to 15.9 percent in July from 12 percent in June, which translates to 7.1 million Filipino workers who believe their jobs or wages as insufficient.

Against this backdrop, the rise of Boomerang hopefuls and employees make sense. And while you may have realized that the grass is not always greener on the other side, no harm in taking all these steps to make sure your reunion with your previous employer is as sweet (and as rewarding) for you as possible.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.