Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Ex-Factor!- HR Practices

Key learnings:

Corporate alumni programmes help organisations re-recruit employees with much greater ease

In case of sales-driven organisations these boomerang programmes offer the recruiting advantage and also give a major boost to the business by providing competitive intelligence

The economic recession is exerting pressure on organisations from all sides. Managers and leaders cannot stretch even an inch and therefore layoffs and indiscriminate delayering of the staff is rampant. As a result of layoffs and corporate delayering there has been a significant talent exodus into the corporate talent pool. There is enough talent floating around in the market and therefore, today may be the best time for organisations seeking to recruit employees.

Unfortunately not many are in a position to recruit. For preserving floating talent and keeping it in the active sourcing loop organisations are considering increasingly formal corporate alumni programmes. These programmes help maintain mutually beneficial relationship with ex-employees and others in the market.

The "boomerang programme" as it is called underscores the need to stay in touch with employees. They could spring back into the organisational fold with much greater ease. Also it saves the organisation and the employee a lot of effort and time. Re-recruiting people under the boomerang programme is much simpler as compared to starting afresh with the entire recruiting process. Besides recruiting benefits of the corporate alumni programme, there are other more business-oriented advantages. For instance, in case of sales- related jobs, re-recruiting sales people would not only save the organisation recruiting efforts but would also provide the added advantage that comes by virtue of the number of contacts that the sales executives would bring. Thus, corporate alumni programmes provide multi-dimensional benefits to organisations.

Back to the pavilion!

Employees are the best brand -builders for organisations. The "word of mouth" publicity that the staff give its employer is beyond the best marketing and brand positioning strategy. Hence, it is extremely important that organisations if not for humane reasons but for the sake of pure economics treat employees well and implement lay-offs amicably. This apart, there are other reasons that justify the need to pursue corporate alumni programmes. The reasons are both HR- related as well as business -related, and these include:

Reduction in recruiting costs Lowered employee change Greater employee satisfaction levels Better brand -building by re-recruiting ex-employees

In addition to the HR--oriented reasons for pursuing corporate alumni programmes, there are equally convincing economic justifications for the programmes. These include: Increase in the number of customer referrals

Enhancement of customer base by turning ex-employees into customers Leveraging competitive intelligence from employees

Inputs for product assessment

Thus, the aforementioned reasons make a rather convincing case for organisations to pursue formal corporate alumni programmes.

The mark of an effective boomerang

The following attributes make corporate alumni programme a success and represent the
worth of pursuing a corporate alumni programme:

A strategic business tool

HR leaders must build a strong business case around the alumni programme. Corporate stalwarts like Mc Kinsey Consulting, Booz Allen Hamilton and Ernst & Young have been known to position their alumni networking efforts more strategically thereby giving it a more serious feel. Leaders must shun the "HR fad" image of important initiatives like alumni networking to leverage its real benefits.

Prioritise alumni

Effective alumni programmes prioritise alumni on the basis of their performance record. This helps quicken the recruiting efforts of organisations and it enables managers to identify the right talent without wasting much time and effort

Tech -savvy

Effective alumni programmes use technological platforms to ease out the process. Unlike earlier when excel spreadsheets were used to maintain employee data base, today's technology is more advanced. The programmes use customer-relationship management software to accomplish the same job.

Leverage social networks

Alumni programmes must leverage public and private social networks to expand their scope. Social networks are by far the richest source of knowledge, information and contacts. Hence, leveraging this source can help boost the effectiveness of alumni programmes.

Use of an effective measurement tool

The efficacy of corporate alumni programmes needs to be adjudged at regular intervals. This would help the efforts stay in the right direction. Without an effective metrics system managers would fail to improvise the existing approach to alumni networking.

Incorporate alumni networking efforts in the onboarding programme

Organisations must familiarise employees about their alumni networking efforts right in the beginning . making this information a part of their onboarding exercise. Awareness about this programme would help employees feel more secure and enhance employee loyalty.

While the economic slump may have got depressing, probe deeper and you will see an opportunity. Making the most of this opportunity is a matter of choice, for those who leverage it, the possibilities are endless!

Ref: TheManageMentor

No comments: