Research has claimed that hiring former employees – or “boomerangs”, as they are called, is not good and companies should avoid it. But we beg to differ.
“It’s super dangerous to oversimplify complex qualitative matters in HR”, wrote Babsi, our VP of HR & Organizational Development, in our monthly newsletter HR2.
People leave for many different reasons, and this is especially common in the tech industry. We believe that if people want to return, it’s a sign of a great fit between what they believe in and Runtastic — be it what we do, our work environment or how we roll.
To support our approach, we collected some backstories from Runtastics that returned after a period of time, and this is their perspective:
I realized that whenever I shared where I worked, I did not feel the same pride as I used to when I said “I work for Runtastic”,
Moni, People and Culture Manager
When I originally joined Runtastic in 2015 as the first Talent Scout, I was mainly doing so for the job. Yet, within a few weeks I was completely in love with the team spirit, the internationality, the solution-oriented mindset. And I would have never guessed that I would decide to resign after a little more than three years.
I believe the reasons for me leaving were two-fold: on the one hand I was offered a higher position in a different industry. So, for me, it seemed to be a very pragmatic career choice. On the other hand, I was struggling in my private life so I was discontent with my overall situation. And I believe that I thought changing jobs would make me happy again.
Now, reflecting on this, I should have known from the beginning: neither am I a pragmatic person (at all!), nor would a job be able to compensate for my private unhappiness.
So, within a few months in the new job, I knew that I wanted to go back to Runtastic. I missed the mindset, I missed the way we worked, and I missed the team. And I realized that whenever I shared where I worked, I did not feel the same pride as I used to when I said “I work for Runtastic”. Yes, this still gives me the chills.
So, when I was able to rejoin within a year, I could not have been happier. I was allowed to take on new responsibilities, yet stay within the same team; and loved that I was welcomed back so openly and wholeheartedly. And while the pandemic has taken its toll on our social interactions, I still cannot imagine a place with a better bunch of people.
“There are many technical things to geek out about that have improved over the last years”,
Erik, Backend Software Engineer
There are two main reasons why I joined back in 2016. As a passionate cyclist, I love riding in the mountains. Austria is obviously a great place to live if you’re into cycling, hiking, climbing or just nature in general. Finding a job there brought me one step closer to doing my hobby in an environment I really enjoy.
The second influencing factor was about working in a domain which matches my personal interests. As a software engineer, you can find a job in many industries. Using my profession to work on products that are “in line” with my hobbies was a strong argument to join the company.
Something that really stood out for me was the professional and supportive environment. It already started before relocating from Germany, by supporting me with my relocation experience, and ended with a productive exit talk which left nobody angry.
Working here was a great learning experience for me, too. While honestly being a bit overwhelmed by the complexity of the system from time to time, there was always someone to reach out and ask for help.
Working remotely was not an option back then, and I had to relocate to my hometown for personal reasons. Going back home, I found a job at a company I was already working for during my studies. The working environment and expectations were quite different since building software wasn’t their main business (construction industry). As the team I joined was newly established, we had the freedom to set up our own processes and choose a suitable tech stack. In this time, my team heavily benefitted from the experiences I gained at Runtastic.
After a while, still having the constraint of not being able to relocate to or near Austria, it was great news to receive a message from a former colleague (or better, a friend), that Runtastic started hiring remote employees. This, combined with my great memories and development opportunities, made me decide to rejoin remotely, and I absolutely don’t regret it!
There are many technical things to geek out about that have improved over the last years, which makes working on our code base even more fun. The remote setup works fine for me, too. I’m really happy that I joined a squad which partly consists of my former Salzburg colleagues.
I was always guaranteed to meet dedicated, innovative and caring team members”,
Tanja, Backend Software Engineer
In 2016, I finished my studies in the field of biomedical informatics and was therefore looking for a job where I could apply the skills I acquired during my time at university. I learned from a friend that Runtastic was hiring for a Data Engineer at that time.
Although I was a bit skeptical about how well equipped I would be for that position, I decided to join Runtastic and it turned out to be a great match as processing sports data of a large user base for analytical purposes is not that different from processing huge biomedical datasets.
I really enjoyed working in the data team, there were quite a few new things to learn and I got to collaborate with a lot of talented and passionate people within and outside of the team to provide the best experiences to our users.
This also gave me the chance to get insights into how other teams and roles at Runtastic are working and I was specifically fascinated by our backend team and how they handled millions of API requests from the apps every day.
When I relocated to another city within Austria after 3 years as a Data Engineer due to personal reasons, I decided to also switch my focus and took on a software engineering role at another company. Back then, Runtastic was starting to enable employees to work remotely, but I had the feeling that wasn’t the right thing for me. As the pandemic hit Austria only a little while later, I had to work from home anyways, and found out that it actually worked out quite well for me. Also, I missed the Runtastic culture — the proactive, diverse and open-minded environment. I was more than happy when I got the chance to rejoin as a Backend Engineer, working remotely from my new home.
It has been a bit of a bumpy ride since then in terms of a constantly changing team setup, as Runtastic definitely stays true to its agile mindset value, flexibly adapting to new situations and roadmaps. However, no matter which teams I joined or worked together with since then, I was always guaranteed to meet dedicated, innovative and caring team members. I’m grateful that this has and will not change at Runtastic, no matter the circumstances.
Considering a Change?
Everyone has their own reasons for coming back. And we welcome them as if it were their first time around. That makes our team spirit even stronger.
Have you worked or done an internship with us in the past? Or would you be interested in being a new Runtastic? Check out our career page, there might be something for you. We welcome everyone, and no, you don’t need to be sporty to join the team.