Employee Lifecycle Management is Your Next Big Advantage
As a CEO, talent is always on your mind. The best and most skilled resources are getting more expensive, tougher to hire, and harder to hold on to. Although, within our community, we’re seeing a change in the mindset of the employee relationship. Some of what we’ve learned in customer relationship management (CRM) is being embraced in Employee Relationship (or Lifecycle) Management. Relationships are what draw you to a company, what will keep you there, and what will bring you back.
An employee's hiring and courting process is often looked at with a short-term view in mind. We are trying to answer, “What do we need, and who can we hire today to fill that need.” Internships are a nod toward a longer-term view. More often than not, we lose sight of people who showed potential during the interview process but may not have been a fit at the moment. Greater sophistication in understanding and staying connected with a potential future fit for the company are required.
The most underutilized area where we can find a strategic asset is the relationship with an employee after they have left our virtual four walls. Interactions with our past employees are typically reserved for formal, mechanical communications or the province of individual relationships they developed while working for you. But, these former employees are your hidden gems. They know your organization well and spent the majority of their waking hours with you during their employment. They represent some of the best opportunities you have for new relationships (with partners, customers, or talent). Furthermore, they can be some of your best future employees. The employee who returns is more productive, integrates more quickly, and your cost to acquire this employee is likely far lower than an employee found through other means.
We should treat our former employees as Treasured Alumni. However, this aspect of our employee lifecycle is neglected. If we thought about our employees as we do with customers in our CRM, we would much more readily consider how we should continue communicating with them. Colleges and some organizations understand this well. McKinsey has been doing this for decades, recognizing that its former employees are the best source for new business.
This will require some of the same tools we use (like our CRMs) and different tools than we usually use to manage our employees. Social Media groups dedicated to company alumni are available. Proactive outreach to these Treasured Alumni is necessary to find their full value.
The collective wisdom of AFN is pointing toward an opportunity – how are you thinking about your employee lifecycle differently?