Cath Smyth, director of customer service, is among many workers who have decided to return to their workplaces after quitting.
Known as a boomerang employee, this is something recruitment and HR experts have been seen a lot lately as workers continue to move from job to job post-COVID.
For Smyth, the decision to return to his former employer was a matter of people and culture.
“I was constantly looking for the same culture and the same kind of people, but I could never find it,” Smyth said.
She initially left the company in her mid-twenties to pursue a more sales-focused role.
She eventually found herself in a “highly paid” business development role, with “all the bells and whistles”, like a company car.
“It’s by far the biggest amount of money I’ve made in my life, but I wasn’t happy,” she said.
When she saw a vacancy at her old company, she decided to contact her old manager.
His former manager was delighted to find someone who was already familiar with the product. After an informal interview, Smyth found herself back at the company after a five-year hiatus in a hybrid role that would work for both her and the company.
She said she was questioned at length about why she left and why she wanted to come back. Her employer was clearly keen to overcome any hesitation in getting her back.
In response, Smyth was “brutally honest” about his reasons for returning.
“I missed the environment. I had searched and searched and searched for it, and I can’t find it anywhere else,” Smyth said.
“So I said, ‘If you let me back, I’ll put everything I can into this business’.”
Smyth also said her employer immediately recognized a change in her maturity and overall happiness when she reapplied, which made them feel comfortable welcoming her back.
Attracting and retaining staff in times of talent shortages
The ‘big quit’ is far from over, with a new report from SAP revealing that 48% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) agreed that more employees were quitting compared to 12 months ago.
Employers are working hard to attract and retain talent in a labor market with more vacancies than qualified professionals to fill them.
About 45 percent of SMEs surveyed were introducing flexible working arrangements to win the war for talent.
Another 39% reinforced salary packages and other financial incentives to keep staff happy.
Another 36% of SMEs said they would provide development opportunities to retain key talent over the next 12 months.
“The big quit has often been misinterpreted as employees leaving to pursue their purpose,” said Sofiane Ainine of SAP Australia. “That’s not the whole story.”
“Talent requires adequate compensation, flexibility and a clearly communicated progression path.”