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How to Welcome Back Former Employees | Kate Rockwood

​Early last year, data scientist Chad Stripling decided he was ready for a change. 

Since late 2018, he had held rewarding roles at two major national retailers, but thoughts about his former employer’s culture kept tugging at the back of his mind.

So three and a half years after leaving, he returned to 84.51°, a Cincinnati-based data science and insights company owned by supermarket chain Kroger.

“The culture at 84.51° is very unique,” Stripling says. “The employees are extremely collaborative, and the passion they have for continued learning and development helps spur innovation and career ­advancement opportunities. And both Kroger and 84.51°’s investments in data, technology and science are unmatched in my experience.”

Stripling, who had worked as a data scientist at 84.51° from 2015 to 2018, jumped at the chance to apply when he saw a job posting for a data science and cloud analytics director role, a position he felt matched his skill set and career aspirations. In February 2022, he rejoined the organization in the new position.

Stripling is part of a growing movement of boomerang employees—workers who leave a company only to return down the road. That’s not a new phenomenon, of course, but boomerang employees are enjoying something of a renaissance. A 2023 global
Visier Insights Report found that almost 30 percent of external hires between 2020 and early 2022 were actually rehires.

Much of this recent boomeranging activity is in response…

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