One in two (46%) consider returning to previous employers for better career progression and remuneration One-third (33%) admit to having already reached out to their previous employer 88% remain in touch with their previous employer – with 23% saying it is to keep the door open.

Over 90% of managers who are currently hiring are open to considering hiring a previous employee, with 80% of them doing so without hesitation. Yet over 1 in 5 employees do not keep in contact with their ex-employers.

Nearly 8 in 10 professionals (78%) in the Philippines have stated that they are open to returning to their previous employer. They are likely to be considered, with 80% of employers who are currently hiring willing to do so without any hesitation or caution.

According to a recent poll from recruiter Robert Walters (of close to 1,000 professionals across six[1] Southeast Asian countries, of which over 100 are from the Philippines), 47% of workers in the Philippines who had left their job in the past two years did so seeking better pay and benefits while an additional 42% left for a better career progression.

As a result, local professionals admit that they would be willing to consider returning to their previous employers, with 24% stating would consider it for better remuneration, 21% for career progression opportunities, and 22% if there are changes to the leadership or team structure.

Keeping a Foot in the Door

The Philippines is seen as one of the countries with the highest proportion of respondents who still keep in touch with their former companies, ranking alongside Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Only one in 10 (12%) Filipino professionals are not in contact with their ex-employers.

A remarkable 88% of those surveyed admitted to staying in some form of contact with a previous manager – with close to a quarter stating that this was for the primary purpose of keeping the door open for future job opportunities (23%).

In fact – 33% of local professionals have admitted to reaching out to a previous employer in the past two years regarding job opportunities, while 12% have expressed the intention to do so.

Managers Very Open to Consider Hiring Ex-employees

The sentiment from Filipino professionals is largely met with positive responses, as over 90% of managers in the Philippines express their willingness to re-hire them for suitable positions. Notably, 80% of managers readily affirm their intention to consider allowing “good ex-employees” to return and another 11% are open to the idea but with a cautious approach.

On the other hand, a segment of Philippine managers shared that they will not consider re-hiring ex-employees (7%), a lower figure compared to the SEA average of 9%.

Alejandro Perez-Higuero – Director at Robert Walters Philippines added,

“Our findings reveal that the hiring managers in the Philippines are notably receptive to considering the rehiring of their former employees, while less than 80% of professionals maintain contact with their previous employers. In light of the growing talent shortage, nurturing positive relationships with ex-employees is advisable. This approach carries several benefits, including familiarity with your company and culture, which minimizes adaptation time and training costs. Re-hires quickly contribute and can even play a role in succession planning. But as you explore the possibility of re-hiring, it is crucial to assess the reasons for their departure and growth during their absence, ensuring a mutually beneficial arrangement for both parties.”

Toby Fowlston – CEO of global recruitment consultancy Robert Walters comments:

“Whilst the global recruitment market has slowed slightly in 2023, candidate shortages continue – and so the fact there is a pool of talent open to re-joining business should excite leaders.

“Not only that but this is a talent that can hit the ground running – they have already been inducted into your business, they will be familiar with processes, and have a previous vested interest in the brand – all qualities which can take years to instill in a new employee.

“In light of this research, companies who are looking to hire can consider re-engaging with alumni and training managers on holding a positive exit process as ‘boomerang employees’ could well be a solution to the skills shortage.

“A key thing for employers is to manage the return of boomerang employees amongst existing workers – in particular, 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 up lines of opportunity within an organization, or they risk sending a message that one route to promotion and a better package is to take the boomerang route.”

For more information on Robert Walters in the Philippines, please visit