Starting a new job in the age of remote and hybrid work can feel strangely familiar. You may exchange one work laptop for another in your designated workspace — that might also be functioning as a bedroom, kitchen, or dining room — but almost everything else about your environment and routine remains the same. Now, imagine if that new job was, in fact, also an old one where the faces are already recognizable and the daily rituals have previously been ingrained. This is the experience of the ‘boomerang,’ the employee who leaves their job only to later return.
Maybe the boomerang was laid off, maybe they left for what seemed like an incredible opportunity during the period of uncharted job market growth which seems to be coming to a close, or perhaps they simply thought they were ready for a new experience. Something has called them back — and, according to CNBC, they’re in good company. In fact, one in five individuals who left their job during the COVID pandemic has returned to it and 43% of people who quit their jobs during that time now admit they were actually better off in their former role.
While many people who exit a position have moved on from that employer for good, that's simply not always the case. This often untapped pool of talent resources is a potential secret weapon for hiring managers and recruiters. Boomerangs’ foundational understandings of the company, the products, and the culture — coupled with a fresh perspective (and potentially a wider breadth of knowledge and experience) from stepping away for a time — can lead to a more efficient ramp period and more mutually beneficial employer/employee relationships. What’s more, according to a recent research study cited by the MIT Sloan School of Management, boomerang employees are typically more satisfied than external hires, which can contribute to them performing at higher levels.
My journey as a Button boomerang
As one of Button’s three boomerangs (so far), I can personally attest to this. There is something infectious about our culture — it has quite the pull — and by already having a strong affinity for the company’s culture and an intimate knowledge of its business, it made my decision to return to the company downright easy. When I left Button in 2021 to pursue my passion for starting new legal functions at emerging startups, I never stopped being a Buttonian. In fact, my connection to our CEO & Co-Founder Michael Jaconi and the Button team only strengthened as we stayed in touch and even spent some time collaborating. My frequent calls with former colleagues were often the highlight of my week, and as I threw myself back into the uncertain world of early-stage startups, the Button community remained a source of stability.
Later in 2021, I experienced my own pivot when my role shifted to include oversight of People Operations, in addition to Legal. This made a tremendous amount of sense — for many years, I have operated adjacent to and, at times, overlapping with People Operations. As a natural evolution of this dynamic, part of my value-add to startups is integrating best practices not only from a legal and compliance standpoint but also a cultural one. This invaluable time I spent away from Button, enriching my professional journey and cultivating these new skills, allowed me to return to the company energized with a greater knowledge base, as well as a renewed passion for the company’s mission, values, and culture. Simply put, I was generally better equipped to serve the organization in a broader capacity.
It has been very rewarding to witness Button’s remarkable growth over the past couple of years and to continue supporting this incredible team going forward. Most recently, the company announced it had surpassed generating $1 billion in mobile commerce from January to May 2022, alone. Over the last year, Button also announced the launch of PostTap SMS, Tap Card Linked Offers, and the formation of a strategic advisory board dedicated to supporting the explosive growth of Button’s new PostTap product suite, which has seen 300% growth year-over-year. Additionally, the company earned the top spot on Built In NYC’s “100 Best Places to work in NYC 2022” and was named one of the “Best Startups to Work For in 2022” by The Org.
What this means for the future
Looking ahead, Button plans to build on this velocity by continuing to enhance our platform with new solutions and features that make it even easier for partners to generate incremental revenue, maximize ROI, and provide their shoppers the best mobile commerce experiences. This trajectory has also driven the need to bolster our team, particularly technical and engineering open roles, to help further this innovation and meet market demand. With these ambitious goals and the accelerated global adoption of our solutions in mind, the timing was optimal for my return to Button as we continue scaling the team while striving to maintain a positive company culture at all growth stages.
And as for my corner of the business, well, it’s been a very busy couple of months and momentum doesn’t look to slow down anytime soon. Since boomeranging to my new role, I’ve been hard at work building on Button’s already incredible culture, recruiting all-star talent, and nailing down scalable processes as we continue to grow. We’ve reintroduced employee resource groups, revamped our onboarding process, given employees the option to collaborate together in person, launched a learning and development program, and conducted a comprehensive engagement survey to help inform my People Operations roadmap based on employee feedback — pretty light fare for the first two months! It’s been an incredibly fulfilling experience so far, and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to make this amount of progress if I had joined a new, unfamiliar company.
Given that businesses typically seek to fill roles either internally from within or by conducting an external search, I’d like to invite you to not only leave the door open for your employees to potentially return to your organization, but to also consider whether a boomerang hire could be both the company’s and the employee’s best bet. You can take my word for it!
If you’re interested in joining — or rejoining — the Button team, please check out our open roles.