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Should you create an ‘alumni’ Web site for former staff?

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Issue: Establishing a Web site that acts as an online home for your organization's former employees.

Benefit: Such alumni sites help you recruit former employees (boomerangs), generate referrals and build good will.

Action: Consider low-maintenance options: alumni sites managed by outside vendors or a free Yahoo group.

When good employees leave your organization, do they disappear into the ether? One way to return those lost sheep to the fold is to create an "alumni" Web site for former employees.

Corporate alumni sites are still in their infancy, but the trend is gaining as the economy picks up steam. The sites typically allow ex-staffers to network, post job listings, plan reunions, access alumni directories, etc. Your organization can post notices on the site, including job openings.

Why create such a site? First, it helps you retain a relationship with ex-employees and increases your ability to rehire the good ones. Rehires cost only half as much to bring on board. They become productive faster and cut your cost of bad hires.

Even if ex-employees aren't interested in returning, the site can help with referrals. Or alumni can post job openings that they know of elsewhere. All of this, hopefully, will build good will for your organization, leading to more and better recruits down the road.

Several vendors can help organizations create alumni Web sites, including Select Minds (www.selectminds.com), Aptium (www.aptium.com), Corporate Alumni (www.corporatealumni.com) and Alumni in Touch www.alumniintouch.com.

A simplified solution: Create a free Yahoo group discussion board that allows alumni to interact. More than 600 corporate alumni groups have been established on Yahoo, most by ex-employees themselves. Find them at www.groups.yahoo.com (click on Business & Finance, then Companies, then Former Employees).

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