Boomerang employees: How will this affect black workers?
The newspaper layoff that terminated long-time black employees
Working from home has given Millennials and Generation Z ideas about how they actually want to work, and it’s just not the same workspace as the one Baby Boomers (and possibly Generation X) are used to. But I’m particularly concerned with how long-time workers of color, specifically black people, will be affected by the boomerang pattern that Business Insider believes will increase in the workforce.
“Selecting employees is really, really hard to do,” Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at Texas A&M, told Business Insider. “And nobody’s that good at it, because I can’t see whether you’re going to be a good worker or not. With boomerang employees, I’ve seen your work, so the risk of the selection process goes way down.”
He’s not wrong about that. I have personally hired enough people (interestingly, two of which I reached out to today) in varying managerial positions to know it’s much more peaceful to recruit workers you know versus the gambling game of those you don’t. However, sometimes there’s an undertone and a bias that hiring managers consciously and subconsciously have for who they will accept back in the workforce. And one particular group keeps coming to mind when I read this boomerang employee study.
The boomerang employee who confirmed Corporate America’s biases
Pre-pandemic, there were six ladies who focused on world news for one of my prior employers. You knew who they were when you saw them. They exclusively went to lunch together. They sat together. They partied together. They were always together. Five of the six were white. All were of varying heights and builds, but only one was black and double their age. They’d all worked on this team for a year or two (minus the black lady), but they seemed to have a special bond.