When to Return to a Past Employer

When to Return to a Past Employer was originally published on Hospital Recruiting.

When to "Boomerang" to a Past Employer
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Are You Ready to “Boomerang”?

You resigned from your employer. Think you can never return? Enough individuals go back to past employers that HR professionals invented a term for it, the boomerang employee. One study commissioned by WorkplaceTrends.com and Kronos Incorporated found:

  • Approximately 2/3 of managers said they were open to rehires
  • 40% of employees considered going back to a past employer
  • 76% of HR professionals said they were open to rehiring people

Did you leave on good terms? Did you provide a reasonable notice? Was your performance exceptional? If so, a past employer is much more likely to consider you for a new position.

A hospital or clinic saves time and money when it brings back someone who understands their culture, policies, and procedures. Not every situation lends itself to “boomerang.” You need to know when to pursue (and when to avoid) reaching out to a former employer for new opportunities.

When to Boomerang

There are times when family situations force you to change employers. Many people leave jobs because of the stress of dealing with small children or elderly parents. If your family situation is different now, consider returning to a former employer.

Perhaps you left a practice because your spouse got a great offer in another city. It is natural to reconnect with an employer where you had a strong work record. Since you didn’t leave because of money or conflict with a manager, your old employer is likely to strongly consider you for a new opening.

Career path is one of the major reasons people say they return to a past employer. If you left to pursue additional education, feel free to contact an old employer if there is an opening that matches your new career goals. There are many hospitals that would love to fill a Registered Nurse opening with a former Patient Care Tech.

How to Deal with Objections

It is harder to boomerang when you left for reasons such as more money, career advancement, or better fit. A Medical Director is likely to wonder how long you’ll stay since another opportunity attracted your eye in the past. Even when you leave for a family reason, your old manager will expect to hear that the work/family conflict is in the past.

It is best to address objections directly in an interview. You should think of a job interview as a sales call where you are marketing your labor services. Good sales people don’t mislead. They tackle objections head on so there is no ‘buyer’s remorse.’

When you meet with a past employer, ask the interviewer if he/she has any questions about your background. Discuss why any past work/family conflicts are no longer relevant. Reiterate at the end of the interview why you’re committed now.

When Not to Go Back

Do not go back to a former employer if you “just need a job.” Hospitals added 58,000 jobs between January 2019-August 2019. The healthcare sector overall experienced strong job growth throughout this decade. There are many great medical jobs at this time.

Even in the medical field, colleagues and managers sometimes have hard feelings when a teammate leaves the organization. If you sense that they just want to fill a position, do not purse returning to the clinic/hospital. A successful hire requires that the employer and employee start with a positive attitude.

Keep in mind, your former employer likely changed while you were gone. They might offer less generous insurance, vacation, or retirement benefits. Some hospitals and clinics have financial problems, too. Make sure you understand the financial implications of going back to an old employer.

Boomeranging in the Medical Field

You need to have an honest conversation with yourself and your former employer to successfully boomerang. Your knowledge of the organization means you provide immediate value. However, there might be a stigma to being a former employee. Make sure you thoroughly address all concerns.

Managers are now more open than ever to rehiring employees. Before you pursue a medical job with an old employer, make sure you understand the benefits and downsides. You want your second act with an old employer to be intellectually, professionally, and financially fulfilling.