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The Angela Mortimer Boomerang

Today I'm going to highlight the ‘Angela Mortimer Boomerang’.

The boomerang: a tool synonymous with Australian hunters, famous for spinning on a perpendicular axis and having a canny knack of returning to its owner. Our metaphorical boomerangs and stars of this blog post are Anna Ross (Divisional Leader), Alexandra Hughes D’Aeth (Permanent Consultant), Lucy Irvine (Permanent Candidate) and Zoe Cave (Temporary Consultant).

The ‘Boomerang Employee’ is discussed more and more within the HR circles and most of the recent press on the subject pointed me in the direction of one particular study. A WorkPlaceTrends.com survey of 1800 HR professionals concluded that over the past 5 years 85% had received applications from previous employees. Half stated that they’d traditionally had a policy against hiring former employees, even when the employee had left on good terms, but 76% were now actively looking to hire boomerangs. That said only 15% of employees had in fact ‘boomeranged’.

This brings us back to our very own boomerangs. Divisional Leader Anna Ross joined as an Operations coordinator (mid recession) straight out of university, as did Permanent Consultants Lucy Irvine and Alex Hughes D’Aeth ended up on Ops having initially registered as a candidate. Temporary Consultant Zoe Cave managed to by-pass Ops and stayed for an initial stint of eight months.

Anna developed her own temp book under the guidance of a hugely inspirational DL who’d also ‘boomeranged’ back to Angela Mortimer, and became a Team Leader within three years. After five and a half years she decided to go and explore what else was out there and ended up spending a year working in house for a global corporate property firm. Lucy progressed from Ops and spent an initial two and a half years with Angela Mortimer leaving in 2012 to go travelling. Alex graduated from Ops onto a temp desk and after two and a half years left in May 2014 to work in New Zealand, and Zoe left for ‘one whole miserable’ year to work in the ‘trendy’ worlds of advertising and branding.

Having set the scene and properly introduced our boomerangs it’s time to explore their reasons for return.

All the expected clichés got a mention: ‘no two days are the same’, ‘the role is varied and challenging’, but the one concept that kept on cropping up was ‘autonomy’. Zoe ‘hated being bottom of the pecking order somewhere else when I’d had it so good here’. Lucy said that ‘after trying other roles I really missed being responsible for my own business and success’.

The responsibility and freedom to develop independently wasn’t something either had experienced anywhere else and was absolutely priceless in the context of enjoying work on a day to day basis. Anna echoed these sentiments: ‘we are given the tools and training to do well, as well as the autonomy to feel in control of your own career’.

Another reoccurring factor was the inspirational leadership team, with both Alex and Anna citing inspiring Divisional Leaders as a crucial reason for returning. Last and by no means least came the working atmosphere with Zoe mentioning the importance of the office camaraderie: ‘realising that having people in the office that actually say ‘Hi’ is worth its weight in gold’, and not to be taken for granted. Lucy also emphasised wanting to be ‘back in an environment where I am inspired by my peers and enjoy coming into work’.

I’m told that in 40 years we’ve changed nothing and that’s why we’re different. That said it doesn’t look like the practice of employee empowerment, inspirational leadership and a healthy working environment is going anywhere anytime soon and on that basis the future of the ‘Angela Mortimer Boomerang’ looks bright.

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