Robert Walters Japan – Hiring “boomerang employees” may help companies in Japan ease talent shortage

Written by BCCJ
August 25, 2023


Written by BCCJ
August 25, 2023

The phenomenon of “boomerang employees”, professionals who return to their former place of work, has seen an increase across global markets since the end of the pandemic. Results from a recent Robert Walters poll* show that many employees who left their former job during the pandemic are now regretting the decision. This data could be hinting at a “Great Regret” in today’s workforce. With Japan continuing to face a severe talent shortage, the workforce here might benefit from taking on boomerang employees again.

While 45% of employees who left their job in 2021 said they did so for better pay, the same respondents were positive about returning to their previous employer (i.e., to become a boomerang employee) at 71% in the UK and 60% in France, respectively. Respondents may be open to this possibility as 82% in UK and 72% said they still keep in touch with their bosses at their former workplace.


The same poll asked managers if they would consider re-hiring employees again who had left the company. Whilst the sentiment may be there from professionals, it seems feedback from managers ae mixed, depending on the market. 44% of managers in the UK admit to being hesitant in allowing 3 an old employee back into the team, while 82% of managers in France would consider it if there was a team that could accommodate them.

To illustrate boomerang employee hiring in Japan, a report by Nikkei2 shows the hospitality industry has seen a recent surge in demand for talent (particularly chefs, servers, porters etc.) in the Tokyo metropolitan area following a strong increase in bookings for company dinner events, school trips and overseas travellers nationwide. To meet this demand, several companies in the industry have called back former trusted employees, often on a side job basis, and has greatly eased their talent shortage dilemma.

To summarize, we have seen a strong sentiment among professionals in overseas markets to go back to their previous employer. Companies, like those in the hospitality industry in Japan, should also consider reengaging with alumni and see the potential in ‘boomerang employees’ as a strategy to ease the talent shortage.


About Robert Walters Japan:

Established in London, United Kingdom, in 1985, Robert Walters is a specialist recruitment consultancy with operations in 31 countries around the world. Robert Walters Japan established its Tokyo office in 2000 and Osaka office in 2007. For over 20 years, we have been a driving force in the Japanese bilingual recruitment market, providing high quality candidates for our clients and access to the best jobs. Our consultants are experts in their respective industries and work in teams to provide recruitment consultation services across a wide range of industries and job categories.

Press contact: PR & Communications, Robert Walters Japan Phone: 03-4570-1500 E-mail: [email protected]