Skip to main content
Do you take former employees back?

We spend so much time discussing retention, and not nearly enough time with the people we want to retain or those we want to return.
There are companies who have a policy not to re-employ.
There are also companies who have alumni strategies where they continue to engage with former employees with the clear objective of re-engagement.   These strategies usually sit at executive level and tend to focus on high level talent.
It has always surprised me that companies won’t re-employ, when I hear senior execs say that “you can’t go back” – once people have moved on, taking them back cannot be a good decision.
I disagree.  
First of all, when you find people who add value and fit your culture, they are gifts that don’t go into the re-gifting cupboard!
It is a reality that people starting their careers are advised to try different opportunities.  If you hire young people, they will move on.   Your investment in their training will be an advantage to their new company.
But what an advantage to you if they continue to grow and develop and then return to your business.
Social networking has made keeping relationships so much easier.
It is also a great idea to have company sponsored former employee functions.  They can be annual, or every second year, and attended by all levels of current and former employees.
Creating a positive relationship should keep your business opportunities top of mind with former staff, as well as give the correct impression that the door is open.
My communications manager, Clara Namnick, calls them boomerang employees and has commented that high performing returning employees are a morale booster for incumbent staff:
  • Re-inforces that the incumbents are right to stay
  • Reduces training time
Like people who are emigrating, resignees spend a lot of time justifying the reasons for leaving, sometimes correctly!   This can be hugely negative, and is the reason why many companies allow short termination periods.   The boomerangs offset this very effectively.
Offering to continue to mentor former employees is also effective, as is keeping an eye on their careers as a sponsor.
It might not always pay off in returns, but there are so many positives in keeping strong ties with ex employees that building it formally into the company culture and strategic intent makes a lot of sense.
 Links, References and Notes
Note
Thank you for reading Teryl@Work.   Should you wish to use any of the material, please acknowledge this blog as the source.
email:      tschroenn@accsys.co.za
twitter:   @TerylSchroenn

Popular posts from this blog

Agile workers & workspaces - a new way of working..

Being an agile worker is still a work in progress…
Is flexibility now a reality in the workplace?And is it really working? We keep renaming it – remote, activity based and agile work being some of the current terms. The assumption of control over one’s own time and deliverables does look like a great way to work and live, and it seems to be is a high priority for those entering the business world. There is also the development of the agile work space, where people come to the office each day, but don’t have a fixed work area.We used to call it hot desking back in the day and it met with mixed success.Today, office designers have started to create work spaces which are intended to encourage innovative thought, cross departmental collaboration and improved productivity. My research indicates that the mix of engaged and disengaged employees in an open plan workspace does not always have the desired effect of the positive workers influencing the culture.In fact, a case study of a senior execut…

Setting Budgets and Targets

Does too much of a stretch impact motivation?    Over many years of setting (and trying to achieve) targets and budgets, getting the balance right between stretch and motivation remains a challenge.

I love Jim Collins and Jerry Porras and their BHAGs in their great book, Built to Last, but if the goals are seen as unachievable too early in the business year, what then?

Is there a way for businesses to achieve success without budgets and targets in place?

Two old favourites " You can only manage what you can measure" and "People do what managers measure" suggest that they can't.  I am sure there must be successful businesses with different methodologies, but most of us need to work towards something.

With that in mind, I think there needs to be stretch, and there needs to be a sense of achievability.

Why would you race against Usain Bolt unless you think you could win?

The same goes for budgets and targets, people need to believe they are possible.

So how do you…

The Gig Economy - HR and other issues

The Gig Economy has emerged as a topic of discussion and I understand that Intuit has posited that 40% of US workers will be independent contractors by 2020.  That is 3 years away! What is a gig employee?  Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb all utilize gig employees as the delivery mechanism for their apps.   While they are all clear that they are just an App and don’t employ the gig employees, governments and employer bodies are analyzing the risks and reports are indicating that they are significant. As a contract worker, which is how Uber defines their drivers, there is not an employer/employee contract in place.    While Uber, and other similar companies, create the mechanism for people to deliver a service, they consider themselves brokers, for want of a better word, and not employers. The UK is looking into the situation and considering legal structures .  The concerns are particularly when people have a single source of income, although they are not formally employed.  This leaves them in a …