How do you treat your former employees? Do you treat them as well as your current employees or do you treat them as deserters? An increasing number of organizations today are treating former employees as valued alumni!
Why? There are several very sound and strategic reasons for doing so:
- Top employee talent: The “war for talent” is real and great hires are hard to come by; competition is fierce! Your former top employee(s) may find out that “the grass is not always greener on the other side.” If so, would they likely return to your business or continue to look elsewhere?
- Social media and references: People talk about and seek out information when considering your business for employment. With websites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn it is very easy for your former employees to post their opinions and write reviews about their experience while employed at your business. In addition, many people post information pertaining to their former employer on their personal Facebook and Twitter accounts. What do your former employees write about your business? Do you even know? Does someone in your business monitor these sites and respond accordingly?
- New business opportunities: Some professional services firms such as Ernst & Young consider their former employees as a specific network or talent pool. This pool is tapped into as a source of new business opportunities as well as job candidate referrals. The value of these “alumni” is increasing further as former employees are not only changing jobs but they are increasingly crossing over industry lines, which further expands both individual and company networks.
- Competitive advantage: More and more employers are recognizing that these networks of former employees are providing a competitive advantage. Some employers have established specific networks for alumni using websites like LinkedIn while other employers have developed a more customized approach incorporating this feature into their company website. Some companies write targeted e-mails or newsletters to their alumni while others conduct on-line webinars to help engage and keep former employees up to date.
Consider the strategic benefits of treating your former employees as alumni rather than deserters! The investment to do so is minimal and the return can be significant!
What steps would you have to take to transition your organization from one being perceived as just a mediocre place to have worked at to one of being viewed as a treasured alma mater? CAI helps 1,100+ North Carolina member companies with workplace planning and transition plans, contact us at 919-878-9222 if we can help your company.
Rick Washburn leads the Advice & Resolution team at CAI. In his role, he advises executives and HR professionals on strategic and organizational issues, tackling subjects ranging from employee engagement to talent management. With his 25 years experience in HR management, Rick is uniquely poised to advice and lead businesses to successful HR strategies.