Source | FastCompany : By Gwen Moran
After eight years, Mike Montour left New York City-based LivePerson, Inc., a 1,200-person provider of mobile and online messaging services, for a startup where he had the opportunity to launch and build a sales team. Roughly two and a half years later, that startup “wasn’t doing well,” and a former colleague suggested he come back. LivePerson has rehired roughly a dozen former employees in the past year.
They are not alone. A February 2016 survey by Accountemps, a staffing company specializing in accounting, bookkeeping, and finance professionals, found that 98% of hiring managers would rehire a former employee who left on good terms. While not all workers want to go back—52% called that scenario “unlikely”—there may be a number of reasons to return to a former employer, including a sense of familiarity and trust.
“People think that they can’t go back,” says Michele Mavi, who returned to New York City-based Atrium Staffing after a few years with another employer. But the numbers don’t bear out that sentiment. A September 2015 study commissioned by the Workforce Institute, Kronos and WorkplaceTrends.com also found that employers are increasingly embracing so-called “boomerang employees.”
After a series of meetings, Montour was offered the role of senior vice president of North American sales. He was happy, but he still had to sleep on it. “When I ran it by a couple of folks, they said, ‘Going back to some place that you’ve been before is like putting on a really comfortable shoe, but the really comfortable shoe still has to be stylish,’” Montour says. In other words, you don’t want to go back to a place just because it’s easy or doesn’t challenge you.
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Some companies have strict policies about not rehiring employees who have left. And if you set the proverbial bridge ablaze as you walked out the door, chances are your former employer isn’t going to welcome you back with open arms. Mavi remained friendly with former coworkers and heard through the grapevine that an Atrium manager was interested in rehiring her.
Soon, the two had a meeting and a frank discussion about what Mavi wanted to do next. Atrium created a new position—director of content development, internal recruiting, and training—to accommodate her. The new role allowed her to use her experience as a recruiter to benefit the firm, but also allowed her to branch out into a more creative role within the organization. Mavi also knew that her history with the company would relieve her of having to prove herself in the same way someone new would need to do. That freedom allowed her to develop her new role and skills to benefit the company.