The laid-off masses have a message for Mark Zuckerberg and Marc Benioff: We’ll never come back

Some workers have no intention of returning to a company that laid them off, regardless of the state of the economy or job market. Tech companies, including major players like Meta and Salesforce, have laid off hundreds of thousands of workers this year. However, as the job market shifts and companies face talent shortages, they are now seeking to rehire the very workers they let go. The question is, what will happen when these workers refuse to return?

According to a recent Glassdoor poll, 58% of professionals said they would not return to a company that laid them off. In the tech sector, the percentage was slightly lower at 46%. Men were more open to the idea of returning than women and older workers were more receptive than younger ones.

The way a company handles layoffs can have a lasting impact on its reputation. Former employees can become loyal advocates or harsh critics. While some sectors are cautiously increasing their hiring as recession fears diminish, companies should be aware that the legacy of layoffs may come back to haunt them when the labor market shifts again.

Despite laying off a significant portion of its workforce, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is encouraging former employees to apply for the company's open roles. He even organized an alumni event to entice them back. Meta, too, after laying off a quarter of its workforce, has created a special "alumni portal" to attract boomerang employees.

However, the idea of boomeranging, or returning to a previous employer, can be unsettling for many workers, especially those who had no control over the layoff. Leaving a job voluntarily during the Great Resignation often led to regret for 80% of employees. Nonetheless, boomeranging is becoming more common as workers seek stability and familiarity.

On platforms like Blind, some employees have discussed the possibility of returning to a company after being laid off. It seems that boomeranging is more likely to occur for those who were laid off during the Great Recession, with some individuals being rehired without needing to go through a rigorous interview process.

For both the worker and the company, boomeranging can have advantages. The returning employee is already familiar with the company and its operations, skipping the onboarding and training process. Additionally, they may bring valuable knowledge from their recent employment experience. From the employer's perspective, rehiring former employees can save on recruitment costs.

However, after a year of being laid off, workers are much less inclined to consider boomeranging. If they do decide to return, they may expect an average pay increase of 25%. This raises the question for employers: how valuable are these returning employees, and is it worth meeting their salary expectations?

In summary, the decision to return to a company that laid them off is a complex one for workers. The way a company handles layoffs and the reputation it builds as an employer can significantly impact the willingness of former employees to come back. While boomeranging can be advantageous for both parties, employers should carefully consider the value and expectations of returning employees.  

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