“Persistent is hiring and we want you to convert your alumni status to active status! We’re seeing great momentum in the market right now and we currently have over 600 positions waiting for someone like you,” it said, detailing the skills it was seeking.
As businesses revive following stepped up outsourcing by clients to cut costs and scale up their technologies, IT services providers including Mindtree, Birlasoft and LTI are tapping their alumni network.
This network, apart from being a great source of finding workers who know exactly what the company wants, is useful because the software services providers do not have to highlight their uniqueness during recruiting. And, with new hires being onboarded remotely, bringing back former employees is an added advantage.
“There is no doubt that remote onboarding and speed to productivity is that much easier to achieve in case of ex-employees, as they are already aware about the organization culture, people and processes,” said Arun Rao, chief people officer at Birlasoft.
Birlasoft is currently hiring in specific areas like Infrastructure skills along with AWS, BI skills like Informatica and Datastage, Springboot, apart from regular technology roles. It is also working to create a technology backbone to formally manage this talent supply chain.
Typically, most companies turn to informal employee networks or social media platforms to remain in touch with their alumni. Several times, the wheels are set in motion even before the employee leaves the organisation.
“As a practice, we carry out a detailed assessment and post-separation survey of the real reasons for their leaving the organisation. This helps us connect with the talent, gauge their comfort in the new assignment and understand if the reason for taking up the new assignment has met their aspiration. We stay in touch with the employees and inquire about their interest to return on a regular basis,” said Paneesh Rao, chief people officer, Mindtree.
Exact numbers are hard to come by, but in cases like Mindtree, the boomerang employees — as returning employees are called — account for 10-15% of the total talent intake over a given period.
For companies, bringing back old hands means they can hit the ground running as the employees are already familiar with its basic culture and practices.
The employees, too, gain increased acceptance internally because of the industry experience they have gained while away.
“Previous employees form an attractive pool for open positions. This is because they have a rich understanding of the company’s culture and can assimilate in the organization very quickly,” said Ajay Tripathi, Chief Human Resources Officer, LTI.
The company runs a programme, Revive with LTI, which is aimed at bringing back ex-women employees, as well as other women returning to work after a sabbatical.
“We have received great response from women professionals across industry and our ex-women employees particularly have shown high interest in resuming their career through it,” said Tripathi.