Don Belyea is a Professional Engineer who has experience running operations across Canada & the US for Global Engineering Firms. Below he outlines the benefits to employers & alumni of investing in alumni networks.
I am a baby boomer still working and I wanted to comment on the concept of employee churn and how companies (if they adopt a strategy of an alumni culture) can actually attract good employees back, should they have a position that past employees would see as a challenge and a positive step forward in their career.
I worked for a large Global Technology Company for many years in various positions. In 2004 I departed this company on very good terms. The company managed my departure with class and left the door wide open should I ever wish to return. This is a key point and I left feeling very positive about the company.
I joined a smaller employee owned Technology Company since the challenge was very interesting. It just happens that the company I was leaving had a strong alumni association which allowed me to stay in touch with all my former friends at the company. From this I received company news through a quarterly newsletter which contained the new contact information regarding other friends who had also departed and of course became part the alumni. Most companies at that time did not have a strong alumni culture and still do not.
Without going into details as to why I left, I stayed with this new company until 2008. At that time a new position opened up in my former company and I was contacted; and to make a long story short I was back with my previous company within three weeks.
I required very little re-training and returning was a bit like going home since I knew most of the employees and management team. I was up and running in my new position very quickly.
Since 2008, I have seen many employees return to join engineering teams on major projects. They required very little re-training and were producing results in a short time. They all felt like they were returning to a very familiar environment among friends.
This returning of former employees is still ongoing, and I am still working!
KonnectAgain is a cloud-based alumni platform for businesses. If you're interested in receiving alumni referrals, re-hiring top performers, or generating business development opportunities from your greatest brand ambassadors - your alumni, please get in touch.