Alumni orgs invite you to retrace your steps

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Ever wanted to go back and work somewhere you've worked before? Australia's banks and accounting firms are implementing corporate alumni programmes.

In current tight market conditions it's all part of a move to regain employees who've left to work elsewhere.

"Mature-age people might leave a job for another opportunity or a change of environment, but may later be willing to consider a return to the security and rewards of a familiar role," says Peter Tanner, founder and head of executive recruitment firm Tanner Menzies.

"Alumni programmes are a good way of putting this into practice by helping you reach someone who knows the business when you really need them," he adds.

Ian Wilson, head of Boyden Partners, reflects that international firms have operated alumni programmes for years, and says Australian firms would be wise to do the same. It often provides a means for former mid-range employees to return and do consulting or contracting work later in their career. "It's a case of keeping options open. At least it allows the phone call to be made."

Debbie Loveridge, the head of Select Australasia, says alumni programmes may be as simple as maintaining a database and creating a newsletter that includes information on new initiatives, opportunities, a social calendar and networking events.

"It's in its infancy in Australia," Loveridge says. "You've seen it develop in chartered firms, financial organisations and large banks with the infrastructure to manage it, but some SMEs are also investing in it."

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