But on the employee side, the relationship is strictly out of necessity – jobs are so scarce that even an offer from an ex-employer is seen as a positive career step, and a good way to pay the bills and put some groceries on the table.
The study was skewed toward higher earners, as 64% of the 382 workers surveyed earned more than $75,000 annually and 79% had a college degree.
But 65% of all respondents were out of work for 27 weeks or longer, making the need to get a job – any job – was paramount.
“People are at a point where they’re losing their houses, their wives or husbands are leaving them. They’re in a severe hardship,” offers Tony Petrucci, an assistant professor and managing partner at executive and board search firm Gravitas who helped in the study. “People are saying, ‘I may not like this employer because of how they handled my layoff. I’m angry, but I would consider going back to work with them.’ It’s a state of desperation.”