Expanding The Network

This article accompanies Coming Home.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Former employees acquire more than fresh skills, experiences and perspective during their time away. They also amass a network of new professional contacts, some of whom also might be interested in exploring opportunities at the company their boomeranging acquaintance has come to call home.

New York-based Ernst & Young boasts a generous alumni referral program that donates $1,000 to a former employee's alma mater for each person he or she recommends who is ultimately hired by the firm. According to Americas Director of Experienced and Executive Recruiting Larry Nash, returning employees are highly motivated to play a role in driving the company's success. That inspires them to steer other star players to the firm.

"Those who are coming back ... are always looking for ways to help the firm grow," says Nash. "Alumni come here knowing their network has expanded and they may have great people to refer."

At Denver-based DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc., referrals are expected to account for 28 percent of the company's 2014 hires. That includes referrals from boomerang employees, who are in the ideal position to bring quality individuals to DaVita's attention, according to Rob Chipman, people services vice president of talent and recruiting. 

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"Alumni are great sources for getting into expanded networks for future great hires," says Chipman. "They've been out in the world and they've met lots of smart, talented people. Every time they make a new contact, they get more opportunities to be able to make a referral."

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