Looking to hire? Try turning to former employees

Many employees in Singapore are willing to return to their previous employers if the conditions are right, and employers are welcoming them back.
By: | July 31, 2023

Three-quarters of employees (75%) in Singapore are open to returning to their previous employers, with 80% of employers willing to rehire them without hesitation.

When considering a return to their previous employer, 46% of employees in Singapore cite better remuneration and career progression opportunities as significant factors. Another 23% stated they will consider returning if there were changes to the leadership or team structure. Notably, 25% of local respondents are more inclined to return if remuneration improved, surpassing the South-East Asia average of 19%.

A recent poll from Robert Walters also showed that 78% of employees in Singapore stay in contact with their previous managers, with 25% doing so primarily to keep doors open for potential future job opportunities. 27% have reached out to a previous employer in the past two years regarding job opportunities, with a further 20% saying they have not done so but intend to.

In terms of managers’ perspectives, more than 90% in Singapore are willing to consider rehiring ex-employees for suitable positions. 76% are open to the idea without reservations, while 20% are willing to do, albeit with some hesitation and caution. Only 3% of managers in Singapore will not rehire former employees, lower than the South-East Asia average of 9%.

READ MORE: Retrenchments in Singapore dip amidst modest employment growth

Toby Fowlston, CEO of Robert Walters, said, “Companies who are looking to hire can consider re-engaging with alumni, and train managers on holding a positive exit process as boomerang employees could well be a solution to skills shortage.”

“A key thing for employers is to manage the return of boomerang employees amongst existing employees—if someone is returning in a more senior position than when they left. A balance needs to be struck and employers should assess that they are doing all they can to open lines of opportunity within an organisation, or they risk sending a message that one route to promotion and better package is to take the boomerang route.”