ATC: Dr Ian Williamson

Unfortunately the schedule for ATC was changed so I missed the first 30 minutes of Dr Williamson’s presentation, however what I did catch was very very good.

Employees are repositories of both human and social capital therefore talent retention is all about relationship management.

Dr Williamson (Associate Professor from Melbourne School of Business) talked a lot about boomerang hires and employee referrals as methods of recruiting that provides an extremely high ROI. Effectively leveraging the human capital of former employees

The benefits of sourcing boomerangs:

  • Lower uncertainty
  • Reduced recruiting costs
  • Reduced training cost
  • Lower turnover risk

But one of the challenges of getting boomerangs to come back to your organisation is addressing the issues as to why the employee left in the first place. Dr Williamson recommendation is to address these issues is through the use of exit interview results to address the reasons for leaving. Then during the interview process let the employee know that you have addressed their issues.

In today’s climate a key to having successful Alumni and boomerang programs is to ensure you are managing your layoffs properly – fair & consistent manner, outplacement etc. You do not want to damage the relationships with these employees as they are leaving the workforce.

Dr Williamson also presented a very interesting idea of using Alumni networks for short-term projects, a similar idea to one I put forward in the 52 Social Media Ideas for HR & Recruiting where internally you allow employees to bid internal credits for additional project work, once complete the manager then rewards employees with additional credits to be used on other projects.

Dr Williamson finished his presentation looking at approaches to managing external employee mobility. He sees three key approaches, the choice of which one to use depends on the strategic value of the employee and the destination of the employee. These approaches are:

  1. Defend against mobility
  2. Retaliatory
  3. Relationship

He put forward the following framework for managing employee’s who leave your organisation:



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