Genevieve Douglas

This story, originally posted on Bloomberg BNA, was written by Genevieve Douglas and features an interview with KonnectAgain's Liza Bennigson

March 2 — Corporate alumni networks let employers stay in touch with former staffers, making it easier to re-hire them or to get a trusted referral for a brand new hire, practitioners told Bloomberg BNA.

As with university alumni networks, corporate alumni networks can benefit their organizations, Liza Bennigson, director of business development for San Francisco-based software provider KonnectAgain, told Bloomberg BNA Feb. 29. However, although higher education institutions do a good job of staying in touch with former students, the corporate world hasn't been as effective at staying connected with those who move on, Bennigson said.

The benefits of remaining in contact with former employees are multifold, she said. For one thing, companies are increasingly recognizing that their alumni pool is a great source of talent, Bennigson said. The cost of hiring someone new can be twice that of rehiring a person who already knows the company systems and procedures, she said.

Moreover, Bennigson said, former employees may have garnered new, valuable skills, which they can then bring back to their original employers.

In addition, employers can get referrals for new hires from former employees they maintain a relationship with, she said.

Finally, she said, keeping in touch with alumni helps maintain a good brand and reputation for the employer.

Employer alumni networks are more important than ever, Bennigson said, because of the nature of today's employment relationships. Millennials, who will be a majority of the workforce by 2025, are more likely to move from employer to employer, she noted. “This idea of lifetime employment doesn’t exist anymore,” she said, but that doesn't mean that once an employee leaves, he or she is gone for good.

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