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

Salespeople - Just Answer the Question.

How we love to elaborate…     Both in our personal and business lives.   It is rare to find somebody who simply answers the question.
In sales, it is becoming more and more critical to just say yes or no.   If you want to embroider afterwards, by all means, but tell the client you can or you can’t do it, first.

That’s what they remember, the yes or the no. Being married to an engineer, I have learnt that if I don’t answer the question, he simply repeats it, until he gets a definitive answer..
As the above is extremely bad for marital relationships, I try to say yes or no first and then give the details.

I thought it was just me, but I have been observing my friends and the people I work with, and it is fascinating how few one word answers are immediately available. When you are selling and a client asks you:
If the widget turns blue in the dark, say yes if it does, then ask if that is a key part of the decision making processIf they ask when you can deliver, give them a…

Hi, 22 year old me..

If I were 22 May is my birthday month, so a time for celebrations and introspection. In interviews, I often ask our applicants to pretend they are 60, and look back on their careers.   Their dreams range from leaving a legacy to being able to retire by the age of 45. At 22, I had taken my first steps on the career ladder.   I had been promoted from being a PA and Installation Secretary (setting up PoS installations for NCR’s large retailers) to becoming a full time programmer. I had made some extremely poor academic decisions, and realised I had to make some very good career choices.   Software development was a relatively new field when I was in my early 20s, and it became an exciting and fulfilling career. Based on my history what advice would I give myself or a new graduate? It doesn’t matter what you have studied, or what your first job is. Keep looking for your passion, find what makes you happy. If it’s money, and you don’t mind being a little unchallenged, as long as there is eno…

3 things to do BEFORE you resign

or sign a new contract…
1.Confirm your notice period ·A lot of companies allow 30 days from date of resignation, but many ask for a calendar month
2.Check your restraints ·If you are joining a competitor ·If you are joining a client
3.Find out when your last payment will be transferred ·Companies have been burned by paying over on the 25th, and people not returning, so they may delay payment transfer until the last official working day, or even the first day of the following month.  You may need to make special arrangements regarding debit orders ….
Both your current company and your new one deserve to be fairly treated.   Knowledge of the policies makes this possible.
Even if the policies don’t make sense to you, you agreed to them when you signed your contract.
HR managers will tell you how many great working relationships are damaged because people don’t follow policy when resigning. It’s worth taking the time for many good reasons.  Building a solid career can depend just as much on how you …