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'Boomerang employees' making presence felt in job market

More people are starting to go back to work, whether that be to their previous job or a new one.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The U.S. job market continues to slowly recover from last year's coronavirus recession. 

More people are starting to go back to work, whether that be to their previous job or a new one.

They're being dubbed "boomerang employees."

"For whatever reason, during the pandemic, they resigned or they found a better offer... they left and they've gained experience," Jeff Cochran with Shapiro Negotiations Institute explained. "Now, for whatever reason, their firm wants them back, or they want to be back."

Cochran said employees are in prime position to negotiate the terms of their return. 

"Not only do they try and negotiate their salary, but they're also very aware of what the working conditions are, some of the things that they can ask for to make their lives easier." 

Kathleen Quinn Votaw, author of "Dare to Care in the Workplace," said the pandemic has taught more employees to ask for what they want. 

One thing they're looking for the most? Flexibility.

"We are now working from home, and I don't have to let the dog out or drop the kids off," Quinn Votaw said. "I can actually walk down to my basement with a nice cup of coffee and I can be productive for you for eight hours while not sacrificing the other hours for my family." 

It is just one trend discovered by economists. 

A record 4.4 million U.S. workers quit their jobs in September. That’s in addition to the 24 million people who have voluntarily left their jobs since April. 

It’s been called "The Great Resignation."

RELATED: Charlotte woman working to help others find health insurance after receiving $11,000 ER bill

Studies show employees also want to work for a boss and company that cares for them. 

Quinn Votaw said leaders who lack empathy will have a difficult time finding and retaining high-quality employees as workers’ expectations evolve.

“We are not going back to the way we were," she said. "This is not a Barbra Streisand movie, it's not going to happen. We are staying in this hybrid, hybrid, messy middle situation”

RELATED: Social worker says pandemic made her realize stress wasn't worth it, so her side hustle became her career

Contact Vanessa Ruffes at vruffes@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram 

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