HRM Five: Why an employee alumni might work for you
You’re probably a member of your university or high school alumni. But would you also consider joining the alumni network of a former employer?
Online social networks such as LinkedIn have made it easier than ever for companies to create and maintain these alumni clubs.
Even LinkedIn itself has its own official alumni network on the platform – where members are eligible for direct benefits such as premium subscriptions.
Microsoft, Citi, and Deloitte are just a few of the other companies who have formal alumni programmes. Their former staff are able to network together, maintain relationships, and stay connected to their former employer.
If you or your HR team are thinking of having your organisation join that growing club, here are a few key pointers to be aware of.
It makes you look good.
Picture this: You’re a jobseeker looking up a prospective employer, and you see that they have an active alumni network who they host for drinks every few months.
Your immediate reaction is mostly likely going to be positive. After all, if a company is still interested in employees even after they leave, that means they are probably even more invested in employees who are actively working for them.
They are a potential resource.
Your former employee might end up going to a competitor, partner, or even a customer. While you don’t want to be getting into corporate espionage, such employees can be useful contacts.
Some companies even hire former staff as consultants, or as leaders on special projects. Making sure your organisation remains on their radar and in the good books is probably worth the extra effort.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
Fancy alumni cocktail parties and product discounts are great, but not every organisation has the resources for this.
Instead, a simple social media group on LinkedIn or Facebook, or even just a semi-regular newsletter, at least gives you a touch point to these alumni – and none of these things will hurt the employer branding budget too much.
Ex-employees can make job referrals…
Wherever they end up moving on to, they might very well have co-workers, friends, or acquaintances who would make a great addition to their previous organisation.
After all, these former staff already know your culture. If you have a referral initiative for existing employees, it doesn’t have to be too hard to tweak policies and processes to bring alumni into the process as well.
… Or even decide to come back, themselves.
Many of your employees who leave will likely go to competitors, partners, or at the very least, remain in the same functional area.
Even if none of this ends up being the case, they might still be strong contenders for re-hiring in the future. Of course, rehiring employees has its own sets of pros and cons, but being open to a return does give the organisation added talent possibilities for its pipeline.