Building successful talent pools with former employees

As the employment landscape continues to change, companies are forced to make difficult decisions to ensure long-term growth. In the wake of these decisions, it’s essential businesses continue to manage their talent pipelines to prepare for future opportunities, including with former employees. 

Exiting employees are a valuable resource, especially as many opt to enter the gig economy as contingent workers. Keeping these employees in your talent pool increases the chances of re-engagement, which not only saves businesses time and money during onboarding, but also ensures skilled workers aren’t lost to competitors. 

We explore how to properly structure your outplacement program and effectively communicate with former employees to ensure top talent remains engaged. 

Why exiting employees matter

The average cost of training an employee was around $1,252 in 2016, according to the Association for Talent Development. Not only has this cost increased with inflation, it also likely doesn’t take into account the hidden costs of onboarding, such as instruction materials, cost of the supervisor’s time as well as the employee’s time and the natural loss of productivity that occurs until an employee is fully up to speed on their new position. 

Creating an effective outplacement program for former employees

By keeping former employees in your talent pool, companies can increase the chances of re-engagement at a later date, leading to lower onboarding costs and increased productivity. Given their familiarity with your team, work culture, and company values, former employees can seamlessly transition and quickly contribute to the team’s success.

As a company prepares for an employee to leave the workforce, it’s important to create a sustainable outplacement program to ensure the worker feels supported and is willing to re-engage when the time comes. 

To start, always offer exiting talent a chance to opt into your existing talent pool. Using a talent acquisition platform, like TalentNet, allows for hiring managers and curators to organize and engage with former employees through a company’s talent community. Candidates can easily reapply to new positions using AI-enabled job matching capabilities and stay in touch with their former workplace. 

When providing outplacement care, consider the following:

  • Personalized support. Help exiting employees access the programs they need to thrive. This includes resume writing workshops, one-on-one coaching opportunities, networking advice and interview preparation tips.
  • Offer feedback – for both the employee and your company. Whether you have a formal employee evaluation system or simply provide an informal one-on-one evaluation, feedback is incredibly valuable for exiting employees. It’s equally valuable to allow workers to speak honestly about their experience at your company and how well yoru outplacement program is doing. Including an anonymous survey in your outplacement program can help your company grow and improve. 
  • Help them find other opportunities. This tip may seem counterintuitive, but by letting former employees know about job openings in other non-competing businesses, you’re strengthening your connection with future candidates and creating a positive experience. Companies could also benefit from referral bonuses (usually equal to 2% of the worker’s rate for up to one year).

How to communicate effectively with exiting employees

Honest, transparent communication is key when engaging former employees. Ensure workers have the chance to stay in touch by requesting a method of contact, then reach out every few weeks to engage with future candidates.

To streamline the process, consider using a talent acquisition software that allows hiring managers and curators to seamlessly text or email candidates. Email templates are also helpful when organizing communication touchpoints. 

When reaching out, ensure you:

  • Choose the right form of communication. Not everyone checks their personal emails often enough. Texting is often the preferred method, as workers are more likely to open a text message. 
  • Set the right tone. Even if a company uses auto-messages, it’s important the text sounds personal, authentic and empathetic. 
  • Consider newsletters. A monthly or bi-weekly newsletter allows companies to keep former employees up to date while offering helpful tips and advice. This is a powerful way to stay engaged with top talent. 

Enhancing talent pools through continual engagement

Exiting employees are often important parts of the hiring ecosystem. By engaging and supporting former employees, companies can build their talent pools and re-hire workers who are more likely to thrive without costly onboarding. 

TalentNet’s platform allows curators to create talent communities and seamlessly communicate with candidates. To learn more, book a demo here.

Download your copy of Support exiting employees through TalentNet’s intuitive platform.