The term "alumni" used today mainly for college graduates and alumni Employees one Company is used originally comes from the ancient Roman Rich. But what does it mean for a company today to win back an alumni as an active employee?

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Definition alumni network

For the Romans, former soldiers who were injured in the war were fed by the state free of charge and called alumni, which literally means “pupil” or “the nourished”. Today three parties are counted as alumni in companies:

  1. the former talents such as trainees, interns or working students,
  2. the former employees who changed employer
  3. and finally the retired employees.

Especially the first two groups should be kept regularly informed about the changes and news in the Company approach. This keeps them reminded of the company itself and the time they spent there.

Boomerang effect - 3 benefits

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Through a well-maintained alumni network can then inter alia enter the boomerang effect. This marks the re-entry of a former employee into the company in which he has worked before. When such a boomerang effect occurs, it has the following advantages for the employer:

  1. The employee only needs a minimal training phase, as he is already familiar with the internal processes of the company. This knowledge only has to be updated with him, which takes significantly less time than training a new employee completely.
  2. In addition, both the employer and the employee know what they are going to do when they hire them again, which significantly reduces the likelihood of ambiguity and misunderstandings about the employment relationship.
  3. For the company, the financial aspect is not insignificant, because re-hiring is much cheaper than a normal recruitment process, which must be worked from A to Z.

Competitive advantage

Furthermore, a real competitive advantage can arise for the company if several employees have returned to the company due to the boomerang effect. These employees then have contacts at their previous employers, at customers and possibly freelancers.

An employee has been building this network since his first day at work, and the current employer always benefits from it. The next aspect relates to word of mouth. Someone who consciously returns to his previous employer is with the working conditions satisfied, feels comfortable there and, statistically speaking, recommends this company more frequently than a non-returner.

How can the company promote the boomerang effect?

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A fundamental aspect that seems self-evident at first glance, but is often not implemented in practice is Respect. The company must respect an employee's departure and conduct a professional exit interview so that the employee has a good final impression of the job Head retains.

In such a Conversation For example, it can also be determined that the company will contact the employee if there is a suitable vacancy. From this point on, the alumni network comes into play, which means that regularly Contact held with the former employee. In addition, there is the fact that 90% of German employees want to keep in touch with their former employer. So there is an interest on both sides not from the Eyes zu verlieren.

3 options for implementing an alumni network

  1. Probably the most common method of running an alumni network is the newsletter. Here the alumni is informed by mail about current topics in the company, such as a change in the management level or a summary of the quarterly report. Any vacancies may also be advertised here.
  2. The more personal variant is a regular regulars' table, in which both former employees and current participants can participate. Here can be exchanged personally about internal changes, but also the private conversation finds its place here. This strengthens the emotional attachment of the former employee to the company and the workforce.
  3. The invitation to company events to alumni, who worked for example until a year ago in the company, is not unusual. In such a setting, you can have a good time, maintain contacts and, above all, have fun, which puts the company in the mind of the former employee in ever more positive light.

Conclusion: Alumni networks are recommended

For a company, it is definitely advisable to run an alumni network, maintain it and always keep it up to date. This effort is disproportionate to the much greater expense of undergoing a full recruiting process for each vacant post.

This results in the following advantages for the company: Employees recruit employees, i.e. external people apply on an internal product there. In addition, a process optimization takes place with a successful re-hiring, which saves both time and Costs saves.

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